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Random Walk-Based Segregation Measures

Coralio Ballester and Marc Vorsatz

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2014, vol. 96, issue 3, 383-401

Abstract: We propose an intuitive way of how to measure segregation in social and spatial networks. Using random walks, we define the segregation index as the probability that an individual meets an individual from the same social group. The segregation index is a generalization of the isolation index and a homophily index introduced in Currarini, Jackson, and Pin (2009), and it has a closed-form relation to PageRank that facilitates its computation. We also show that the Spectral Segregation Index proposed by Echenique and Fryer (2007) is not continuous with respect to the network structure. Finally, we apply the measure to Spanish census data and to citations data from economics, and rationalize the index as the equilibrium outcome of a game. © 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Keywords: Isolation; Homophily; Network; PageRank; Markov Chain; Segregation. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C0 D85 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (11)

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Working Paper: Random–Walk–Based Segregation Measures (2010) Downloads
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