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Sociality in Diverse Societies: A Regional Analysis Across European Countries

  • Ferry Koster


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    For a long time, researchers investigate the impact of diversity on society. To measure diversity, either archival data at the national level of census data at the neighborhood level, within a single country are used. Both approaches are limited. The first approach does not allow to investigate variation in diversity within countries and the second approach misses the possibility to investigate cross national differences. The present study aims at bringing these two approaches closer together by constructing diversity measures based on the European Social Survey (ESS). The ESS is collected every 2 years since 2002 and includes individual level data that allow replicating earlier measures of ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity for 30 European countries. Furthermore, since respondents are asked to indicate in what region they live, measured with the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics classification, it is possible to construct disaggregated measures. Comparing the new indicators with existing diversity scores leads to the following conclusions. First, the new and old measures are strongly correlated at the national level. Secondly, investigating the relationship between diversity and different kinds of sociality (interpersonal trust, institutional trust, and support for government redistribution) shows that regional diversity is more strongly related to them than diversity at the national level. Copyright The Author(s) 2013

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

    Volume (Year): 111 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 579-601

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:111:y:2013:i:2:p:579-601
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    1. Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
    2. Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Trust, Inequality, and Ethnic Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 511, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    3. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
    4. Habyarimana, James P. & Humphreys, Macartan & Posner, Daniel N. & Weinstein, Jeremy, 2006. "Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision? An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2272, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
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