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Article
A Representation Index: Measuring the Representation of Minorities in the Income Distribution
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (2009)
  • Krishna Pendakur, Simon Fraser University
  • Ravi Pendakur, University of Ottawa
  • Simon D. Woodcock, Simon Fraser University
Abstract
The existence of glass ceilings and sticky floors suggests that disadvantaged workers will be under-represented in some parts of the income distribution, and over-represented in others. We present a representation index that measures the prevalence of population subgroups in different regions of the income (or any other) distribution. Our representation index is easily generalized to condition on characteristics (such as age, education, etc). Further, it generalizes naturally to an index of the severity (or cost) of under-representation to group members, which is based on dollar-weighted representation. Both representation and severity indices are easily calculated via existing regression techniques. We illustrate the approach using Canadian Census data on the earnings of ethnic minorities.
Keywords
  • representation,
  • discrimination,
  • glass ceiling,
  • quantile regression,
  • expectile regression
Publication Date
February 12, 2009
Citation Information
Krishna Pendakur, Ravi Pendakur and Simon D. Woodcock. "A Representation Index: Measuring the Representation of Minorities in the Income Distribution" The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy Vol. 8 Iss. 1 (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/krishna_pendakur/2/