The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Polarization

  • Gordon Anderson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_2781

Abstract

Polarization means the tendency of economic agents to form different groups and acquire identities that enhance differences from other groups. It is both cause and consequence of much economic behaviour. It has been employed, for example, in describing the diminution of the middle class in wage, income and wealth distributions, in studying growth and convergence issues, and in examining the plight of the poor. Although polarization is closely associated with trends in inequality, increased polarization can correspond to an increase, a reduction or no change in inequality.

Keywords

Akerlof, G, Alienation Clubs Endogeneous growth Gini coefficient Identity Inequality Polarization 

JEL Classifications

D3 I3 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Akerlof, G. 1997. Social distance and social decision. Econometrica 65: 1005–1027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, G. 1996. Nonparametric tests for stochastic dominance in income distributions. Econometrica 64: 1183–1193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, G. 2004a. Making inferences about the polarization, welfare and poverty of nations: A study of 101 countries 1970–1995. Journal of Applied Econometrics 19: 537–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, G. 2004b. Toward an empirical analysis of polarization. Journal of Econometrics 122: 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson, G. 2004c. The empirical assessment of multidimensional inequality: Sample weighted multivariate generalizations of the Gini Coefficient and Kolmogorov-Smirnov two sample tests for stochastic dominance. Mimeo: Department of Economics, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  6. Anderson, G. 2005. Indices and tests for alienation based upon Gini type and distributional overlap measures. Mimeo: Department of Economics, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  7. Anderson, G., and Y. Ge. 2004. A new approach to convergence, city types and the ‘true’ convergence of post-reform Chinese urban income distributions. Mimeo: Department of Economics, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  8. Barrett, G., and S. Donald. 2003. Consistent tests for stochastic dominance. Econometrica 71: 71–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Barro, R. 1998. Determinants of economic growth: A cross country empirical study. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  10. Beach, C., R. Chaykowski, and G. Slotsve. 1998. Inequality and polarization of male earnings in the US 1968–1992. North American Journal of Economics and Finance 8: 135–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Beach, C., and G. Slotsve. 1996. Are we becoming two societies? income, polarization and the middle class in Canada. Toronto: C.D. Howe Institute.Google Scholar
  12. Bernard, A., and S. Durlauf. 1996. Interpreting tests of the convergence hypothesis. Journal of Econometrics 71: 161–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bossert, W., C. D’Ambrosio, and V. Peragrine. 2004. Deprivation and social exclusion. Paper presented at the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth. Ireland, August: Cork.Google Scholar
  14. Corak, M. 2004. Generational income mobility in north America and Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. D’Ambrosio, C., and E. Wolff. 2001. Is wealth becoming more polarized in the United States? Working paper 330. New York: Levy Economics Institute, Bard College.Google Scholar
  16. Davidson, R., and J.-Y. Duclos. 2000. Statistical inference for stochastic dominance and for the measurement of poverty and inequality. Econometrica 68: 1435–1464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dinardo, J., and T. Lemieux. 1997. Diverging male wage inequality in the United States and Canada 1981–1988: Do institutions explain the difference? Industrial and Labour Relations Review 50: 629–651.Google Scholar
  18. Dobkins, L., and Y. Ioannides. 2000. Dynamic evolution of the U.S. city size distribution. In Economics of cities, ed. J.M. Huriot and J.F. Thisse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Duclos, J.-Y., J. Esteban, and D. Ray. 2004. Polarization: concepts, measurement, estimation. Econometrica 72: 1737–1773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Durlauf, S., and D.T. Quah. 1999. The new empirics of economic growth. In Handbook of macroeconomics, ed. J.B. Taylor and M. Woodford, vol. 1A. Amsterdam: North Holland.Google Scholar
  21. Esteban, J.-M., and D. Ray. 1994. On the measurement of polarization. Econometrica 62: 819–851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Foster, J., J. Greer, and E. Thorbecke. 1984. A class of decomposable poverty measures. Econometrica 52: 761–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Foster, J., and M. Wolfson. 1992. Polarization and the decline of the middle class: Canada and the US Mimeo. Nashville: Vanderbilt University.Google Scholar
  24. Good, I., and R. Gaskins. 1980. Density estimation and bump-hunting by the penalised likelihood method exemplified by scattering and meteorite data. Journal of the American Statistical Association 75: 42–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hartigan, J., and P. Hartigan. 1985. The dip test of unimodality. Annals of Statistics 13: 70–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jenkins, S. 1996. Recent trends in the U.K. income distribution: What happened and why? Oxford Review of Economic Policy 12: 29–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jones, C. 1997. On the evolution of the world income distribution. Journal of Economic Perspectives 11(3): 19–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Keefer, P., and S. Knack. 2002. Polarization, politics and property rights: Links between inequality and growth. Public Choice 111: 127–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Koshevoy, G., and K. Mosler. 1997. Multivariate Gini indices. Journal of Multivariate Analysis 60: 252–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Levy, F., and R. Murnane. 1992. US earnings inequality: A review of recent trends and proposed explanations. Journal of Economic Literature 30: 1333–1381.Google Scholar
  31. Linton, O., Maasoumi, E. and Whang, Y.-J.2002. Consistent testing for stochastic dominance: A subsampling approach. Discussion Paper No.EM/02/433.STICERD, London School of Economics.Google Scholar
  32. McFadden, D. 1989. In Testing for stochastic dominance in studies in the economics of uncertainty (in honor of Josef Hadar), ed. T. Fomby and T. Seo. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  33. Quah, D. 1997. Empirics for growth and distribution: stratification, polarization, and convergence clubs. Journal of Economic Growth 2: 27–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wang, Y.Q., and K.Y. Tsui. 2000. Polarization orderings and new classes of polarization indices. Journal of Public Economic Theory 2: 349–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wolfson, M. 1994. When inequalities diverge. American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 84: 353–358.Google Scholar
  36. Wolfson, M. 1997. Divergent inequalities: Theory and empirical results. Review of Income and Wealth 43: 401–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yitzhaki, S. 1994. Economic distance and overlapping of distributions. Journal of Econometrics 61: 147–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.