A study on the RQ index of ethnic polarization

Working Paper 2009-134


An ethnic polarization index is a summary statistic of ethnic diversity in a population. Montalvo and Reynal-Querol (2005,2008) suggested an index of ethnic polarization, the RQ index, and discussed its properties in detail. In this paper we develop some axiomatic characterizations of the RQ index using axioms taken mostly from the earlier literature. A generalized form of the RQ index is also characterized. Finally, we develop an ethnic polarization ordering for ranking alternative ethnic profiles unambiguously.

Authors: Satya R. Chakravarty , Bhargav Maharaj.

Keywords: Ethnic polarization, RQ index, axioms, generalization, characterization.
JEL: C43, D63, D74.