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A Theory of Racial Diversity, Segregation, and Productivity

Empirical evidence illustrates that diversity generates both economic costs and benefits. This paper develops a theoretical model that accounts for the positive and deleterious effects of heterogeneity. First, an expanded Solow Growth Model demonstrates that the direct effects of diversity can be positive or negative, and depend upon the size of fixed parameter values. Second, diversity also influences individuals’ location decisions. Segregation (variation of diversity across regions) always reduces national output per worker, so if diversity induces integration, it indirectly augments productivity as well. Finally, political policies aimed at reducing interaction costs across groups may actually reduce aggregate output per worker by encouraging segregation.

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File URL: http://commons.colgate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=econ_facschol
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Colgate University in its series Working Papers with number 2007-03.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cgt:wpaper:2007-03
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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  8. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
  9. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," CESifo Working Paper Series 1117, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Glaeser, E.L. & Scheinkman, J.A., 1993. "Economic Growth in a Cross-Section of Cities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1645, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "Cities and Cultures," Working Papers 2004.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
  13. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  14. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-95-4 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
  17. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
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