Political and social scientists often wish to measure inequity-the deviation of some actual distribution from a comparative standard distribution based on merit, need, or some other expectation. Measurements of income inequality have the longest history, but others can be identified, including two of direct interest in electoral studies: measures of disproportionality and malapportionment. While many economists agree that inequality measures must meet certain statistical axioms, there has been no recognition of these requirements for the wider case of inequity. This article presents a method for developing simple and easily interpreted measures of inequity that meet the desired axioms. Disproportionality and malapportionment applications are illustrated and contrasting results obtained with alternative indices highlighted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations