Social consequences of economic segregation

Yoonseok Lee, Donggyun Shin, Kwanho Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The empirical literature has not been successful in generating robust results for a positive relationship between income inequality and social unrest outcomes such as crime and suicide. This paper questions the use of standard income inequality measures (e.g., Gini coefficient) in such studies and shows that income-mobility-based measures are effective in explaining outcomes of social unrest. Analyses of Korean and the United States region-byyear data suggest that crime and suicide rates are better explained by income immobility (i.e., the degree of economic segregation) rather than the inequality aspects of income distribution. The explanatory power improves as a heavier weight is placed on the poor group's degree of immobility. Findings in the current study will be helpful for guiding future efforts to develop more effective measures of social unrest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-210
Number of pages22
JournalKorean Economic Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Immobility
  • Inequality
  • Social Unrest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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