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Social Divergence and Productivity: Making a Connection

In: The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2002: Towards a Social Understanding of Productivity

Contents:

Author Info

  • R. Quentin Grafton

    (Senior Fellow, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University)

  • Stephen Knowles

    (Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Otagio, New Zealand)

  • P. Dorian Owen

    (Professor of Economics, University of Otagio, New Zealand)

Abstract

In this chapter, Quentin Grafton, Stephen Knowles and Dorian Owen examine the implications for productivity arising from the level of social diversity along a variety of dimensions, including ethnic, linguistic and religious differences and inequalities between rich and poor. Their basic intuition is that human beings tend to associate and communicate most readily with people similar to themselves, and their hypothesis is therefore that "social divergence" generates social barriers to communication among groups, inhibiting the diffusion of knowledge and lowering the level of productivity in the economy. As a consequence, the more diverse the society and the greater the number of distinct social groups, the higher are the communication costs and the greater are the barriers to the exchange of ideas and innovation.

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in:
This item is provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards & The Institutute for Research on Public Policy in its series The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress with number v:2:y:2002:rqg.

Handle: RePEc:sls:repsls:v:2:y:2002:rqg

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Related research

Keywords: Social Divergence; Social Values; Social Capital; Total Factor Productivity; Multifactor Productivity; Multi-factor Productivity; Fractionalization; Homogeneity; Heterogeneity; Productivity; Labour Productivity; Labor Productivity; Growth; Inequality; Educational Inequality; Networks; Trust; Social Networks; Language; Education; Religion; Social Cohesion; Cohesion;

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References

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  1. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
  3. Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 139-154, March.
  4. Harvey James, 2002. "The Trust Paradox: A Survey of Economic Inquiries Into the Nature of Trust and Trustworthiness," Microeconomics 0202001, EconWPA.
  5. Quentin Grafton & Stephen Knowles & P. Dorian Owen, 2001. "Social Divergence and Economic Performance," Working Papers 0103E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  6. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
  7. Timothy C. Sargent & Edgard R. Rodriguez, . "Labour or Total Factor Productivity: Do We Need to Choose?," Working Papers-Department of Finance Canada 2001-04, Department of Finance Canada.
  8. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10091, Paris Dauphine University.
  9. Deininger, Klaus & Olinto, Pedro, 2000. "Asset distribution, inequality, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2375, The World Bank.
  10. Clarke, George R. G., 1992. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1064, The World Bank.
  11. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. James Moody & Douglas R. White, 2000. "Structural Cohesion and Embeddedness: A Hierarchical Conception of Social Groups," Working Papers 00-08-049, Santa Fe Institute.
  13. Galor, O. & Tsiddon, D., 1996. "Technological Progress, Mobility and Economic Growth," Papers 13-96, Tel Aviv.
  14. Baldwin, John R. & Harchaoui, Tarek, 2002. "Productivity Growth in Canada," Productivity Growth in Canada, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis, number stcb6e, December.
  15. John F. Helliwell & Geneviève Verdier, 2001. "Measuring internal trade distances: a new method applied to estimate provincial border effects in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1024-1041, November.
  16. Miller, Stephen M. & Upadhyay, Mukti P., 2000. "The effects of openness, trade orientation, and human capital on total factor productivity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 399-423, December.
  17. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas & P. Dorian Owen, 2004. "Bridging the Barriers: Knowledge Connections, Productivity, and Capital Accumulation," International and Development Economics Working Papers idec04-5, International and Development Economics.
  2. R. Quentin Grafton & Stephen Knowles, 2002. "Social Capital and National Environmental Performance: A Cross-sectional Analysis," Economics and Environment Network Working Papers 0206, Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network.
  3. Andrew Sharpe, 2004. "Exploring the Linkages between Productivity and Social Development in Market Economies," CSLS Research Reports 2004-02, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  4. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2007. "Social trust and the growth of schooling," Working Papers 07-6, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.

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