How Much Does Sorting Increase Inequality?

27 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 1996 Last revised: 1 Oct 2010

See all articles by Michael Kremer

Michael Kremer

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Center for Global Development; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 1996

Abstract

Social commentators from William Julius Wilson to Charles Murray have argued that increased sorting of people into internally homogeneous" neighborhoods,schools, and marriages is spurring long-run inequality. Cali- bration of a formal model suggests that these fears are misplaced. In order to increase the steady-state standard deviation of education by one percent, the correlation between neighbors' education would have to double, or the correlation between spouses' education would have to increase by one-third. In fact, both correlations have declined slightly over the past few decades. Sorting has somewhat more significant effects on intergenerational mobility than on inequality."

Suggested Citation

Kremer, Michael R., How Much Does Sorting Increase Inequality? (May 1996). NBER Working Paper No. w5566. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3521

Michael R. Kremer (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Rm. 207
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Center for Global Development

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
26
Abstract Views
854
PlumX Metrics