The concept and measurement of group inequality
The economist’s conceptualisation of inequality in terms of interpersonal distribution of income or wealth, and the tradition of measurement of inequality that follows from this conceptualisation have not paid adequate attention to the need for reckoning inequality across social groups. In this paper we show that certain simple statistical tools to analyse categorical data can be shown to have properties that conform to our normative judgement on group inequality. We then analyse the grouped data available from such sources as the NSSO to illuminate our understanding of group inequality in India. A broader goal of this paper is to combine the insights from the literature on axiomatic method of measuring inequality with the idea of inequality that is commonly shared by other social science disciplines like sociology and political science. JEL Classification: I31 Key Words: Inequality, measurement, social groups, odds ratio, India.