The joint effect of ethnicity and gender on occupational segregation. An approach based on the Mutual Information Index Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2015

start page

  • 167

end page

  • 178


  • 49

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0049-089X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0317


  • In this article, we study the effects of ethnicity and gender on occupational segregation. Traditionally, researchers have examined the two sources of segregation separately. In contrast, we measure their joint effect by applying a multigroup segregation index-the Mutual Information or M index-to the product of the seven ethnic groups and two genders distinguished in our 2001 Census data for England and Wales. We exploit M's additive decomposability property to pose the following two questions: (i) Is there an interaction effect? (ii) How much does each source contribute to occupational segregation, controlling for the effect of the other? Although the role of ethnicity is non-negligible in the areas where minorities are concentrated, our findings confirm the greater importance of gender over ethnicity as a source of segregation. Moreover, we find a small "dwindling" interaction effect between the two sources of segregation: ethnicity slightly weakens the segregating power of gender and vice versa.


  • united-states; self-employment; british census; great-britain; labor-market; race; sex; workplace; dimensions; earnings