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Racial Diversity and Macroeconomic Productivity across US States and Cities

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Abstract

The United States is growing increasingly diverse, so it is important that economists understand the macroeconomic consequences of diversity within the US economy. International analyses often argue that heterogeneity reduces macroeconomic productivity by engendering corruption, political instability, and social turmoil. However, other studies claim that diversity improves creative decision making and augments productivity. This paper exploits differences in diversity across regions of the United States from 1980 to 2000 to determine whether racial heterogeneity creates macroeconomic gains or losses for states and cities. Fixed effects analysis indicates that diversity enhances the productivity of cities. Evidence at the state-level is more ambiguous, as significant results only appear in random effects specifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Sparber, Chad, 2007. "Racial Diversity and Macroeconomic Productivity across US States and Cities," Working Papers 2007-01, Department of Economics, Colgate University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgt:wpaper:2007-01
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    File URL: http://commons.colgate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=econ_facschol
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    1. Timothy F. Harris & Yannnis M. Ioannides, 2000. "Productivity and Metropolitan Density," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0016, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    2. Scott E. Page, 2007. "Prologue to The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies," Introductory Chapters,in: The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies Princeton University Press.
    3. Chad Sparber, 2009. "Racial Diversity and Aggregate Productivity in U.S. Industries: 1980–2000," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 829-856, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2010. "Does Labor Diversity Affect Firm Productivity?," Working Papers 10-12, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    2. Trax, Michaela & Brunow, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens, 2015. "Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 85-96.
    3. Ager, Philipp & Brückner, Markus, 2013. "Cultural diversity and economic growth: Evidence from the US during the age of mass migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 76-97.
    4. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:6:p:1175-1185 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Dirk Dohse & Robert Gold, 2013. "Measuring Cultural Diversity at a Regional Level," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 10, WWWforEurope.
    6. Gianluca Orefice, 2010. "Skilled Migration and Economic Performances: Evidence from OECD Countries," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(IV), pages 781-820, December.
    7. Lee, Neil, 2013. "Cultural diversity, cities and innovation: firm effects or city effects?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57874, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2017. "Ethnic diversity and growth: revisiting the evidence," Economics Working Papers 1585, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    9. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2014. "Labor diversity and firm productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 144-179.
    10. Nathan, Max, 2011. "The long term impacts of migration in British cities: diversity, wages, employment and prices," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33577, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Chad Sparber, 2009. "Racial Diversity and Aggregate Productivity in U.S. Industries: 1980–2000," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 829-856, January.
    12. Ratna, Nazmun N. & Quentin Grafton, R. & Kompas, Tom, 2009. "Is diversity bad for economic growth?: Evidence from state-level data in the US," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 859-870, December.
    13. Philipp Kolo, 2016. "A dissimilarity-adjusted index of ethnic diversity: Measurement and implications for findings on conflict, growth and trade," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 195, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    14. Stephan Brunow & Hanna Brenzel, 2012. "The effect of a culturally diverse labour supply on regional income in the EU," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 461-485, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Racial Diversity; Macroeconomic Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

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