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The Effect of Neighborhood Diversity on Volunteering: Evidence From New Zealand

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  • Clark Jeremy

    ()
    (University of Canterbury)

  • Kim Bonggeun

    ()
    (Seoul National University)

Abstract

A growing empirical literature has found that neighborhood heterogeneity lowers people’s likelihood of contributing to public goods. However, this literature has been mostly cross-sectional, and so struggled to address the effects of unobserved influences on contributions that may be correlated with heterogeneity. It has also paid little attention to how heterogeneity’s estimated effects are influenced by neighborhood size or the concavity of heterogeneity measures. With access to a panel of three waves of census data on volunteering rates in New Zealand, released at two fine levels of aggregation, we can control for stable unobserved neighborhood characteristics that may affect volunteering rates. We use pooled cross-section, between and fixed effects regressions to test whether volunteering rates are lowered by heterogeneity in race/ethnicity, language, birthplace, or income. We find that estimates are affected by neighborhood definition, and that ethnic and language heterogeneity are robustly associated with lower volunteering rates in New Zealand.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 12 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-49

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:12:y:2012:i:1:n:5

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  1. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Working Papers 9902, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  2. Gustavsson, Magnus & Jordahl, Henrik, 2008. "Inequality and trust in Sweden: Some inequalities are more harmful than others," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 348-365, February.
  3. Natalia Letki, 2008. "Does Diversity Erode Social Cohesion? Social Capital and Race in British Neighbourhoods," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 56, pages 99-126, 03.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
  7. Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Trust, Inequality and Ethnic Heterogeneity," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(258), pages 268-280, 09.
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Cited by:
  1. James Alm & Jeremy Clark & Kara Leibel, 2011. "Socio-economic Diversity, Social Capital, and Tax Filing Compliance in the United States," Working Papers in Economics 11/35, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.

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