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Bio-Ecological Diversity vs. Socio-Economic Diversity: A Comparison of Existing Measures

40 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2003  

Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

Bocconi University - Department of Economics and Paolo Baffi Centre on Central Banking and Financial Regulation

Dino Pinelli

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Milan

Carole Juliette Maignan

World Health Organization - Regional Office for Europe

Francesco Rullani

LUISS Guido Carli - Department of Business and Management; Copenhagen Business School - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

The purpose of the paper is to enrich the standard toolbox for measuring diversity in economics. In so doing, we compare the indicators of diversity used by economists with those used by biologists and ecologists.

Ecologists and biologists are concerned about biodiversity: The diversity of organisms that inhabit a given area. Concepts of species diversity such as alpha (diversity within community), beta (diversity across communities) and gamma (diversity due to differences among samples when they are combined into a single sample) have been developed (Whittaker, 1960). Biodiversity is more complex than just the species that are present, it includes species richness and species evenness. Those various aspects of diversity are measured by biodiversity indices such as Simpson's Diversity Indices, Species Richness Index, Shannon Weaver Diversity Indices, Patil and Taillie Index, Modified Hill's Ratio.

In economics, diversity measures are multi-faceted ranging from inequality (Lorenz curve, Gini coefficient, quintile distribution), to polarisation (Esteban and Ray, 1994; Wolfon, 1994, D'Ambrosio (2001)) and heterogeneity (Alesina, Baqir and Hoxby, 2000). We propose an interdisciplinary comparison between indicators. In particular, we review their theoretical background and applications. We provide an assessment of their possible use and interest according to their specific properties.

Keywords: Diversity, Growth, Knowledge

JEL Classification: C1

Suggested Citation

Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. and Pinelli, Dino and Maignan, Carole Juliette and Rullani, Francesco, Bio-Ecological Diversity vs. Socio-Economic Diversity: A Comparison of Existing Measures (January 2003). FEEM Working Paper No. 13.2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=389043 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.389043

Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Economics and Paolo Baffi Centre on Central Banking and Financial Regulation ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

Dino Pinelli

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Milan ( email )

Corso Magenta 63
20123 Milan
Italy
39 02 52036944 (Phone)
39 02 52036946 (Fax)

Carole Juliette Maignan

World Health Organization - Regional Office for Europe ( email )

8, Scherfigsvej
DK-2100
Copenhagen

Francesco Rullani

LUISS Guido Carli - Department of Business and Management ( email )

Viale Pola 12
Rome, 00198
Italy

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics

Kilevej 14A
Frederiksberg, 2000
Denmark

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