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Group design with endogenous associations

  • Weinberg, Bruce A.
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    The belief that people are affected by the groups in which they are active has long led policy makers to manipulate the groups to which people are exposed. This paper studies the optimal design of groups to maximize racial and ethnic integration. We show that the group composition that maximizes integration of associations depends critically on the strength of homophily in an intuitive way. We use data on associations among high school students to measure actual integration. We find that non-Hispanics and Hispanics integrate even in groups that are heavily mixed, but that non-blacks do not integrate with blacks until most of a group is black. Consequently, schools with even mixes of Hispanics and non-Hispanics maximize ethnic integration, whereas integration of non-blacks and blacks is maximized with relatively uneven distributions of blacks and non-blacks (i.e. in groups that appear not to be very integrated at all).

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

    Volume (Year): 43 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 411-421

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:43:y:2013:i:2:p:411-421
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

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    7. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1997. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," NBER Working Papers 5881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2002. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 35, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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