On the Measurement of "Grayness" of Cities

Sripad Motiram and Vamsi Vakulabharanam of PERI consider situations where individuals belonging to multiple groups inhabit a space that can be divided into smaller distinguishable units, a feature characterizing many cities in the world.  They conceptualize a phenomenon that they term "Grayness" - a combination of spatial integration based upon group-identity and income. Grayness is high when cities display a high degree of spatial co-existence in terms of both identity and income. They develop an index of Grayness, then apply this Grayness index to both the Indian city of Hyderabad and selected American cities.

Abstract

We consider a situation where individuals belonging to multiple groups inhabit a space that can be divided into smaller distinguishable units, a feature characterizing many cities in the world. When data on an economic attribute (in our case, income) is available, we conceptualize a phenomenon that we refer to as “Grayness" - a combination of spatial integration based upon group-identity and income. Grayness is high when cities display a high degree of spatial co-existence in terms of both identity and income. We lay down some desirable properties of a measure of Grayness and develop a simple and intuitive index that satisfies them. We provide an illustration by using data from the Indian city of Hyderabad, and selected American cities.

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