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Cultural Identity and Knowledge Creation in Cosmopolitan Cities

  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco
  • Prarolo, Giovanni

We study how the city system is affected by the possibility for the members of the same cultural diaspora to interact across different cities. In so doing, we propose a simple two-city model with two mobile cultural groups. A localized externality fosters the productivity of individuals when groups interact in a city. At the same time, such interaction dilutes cultural identities and reduces the consumption of culture-specific goods and services. We show that the two groups segregate in different cities when diaspora members find it hard to communicate at distance whereas they integrate in multicultural cities when communication is easy. The model generates situations in which segregation is an equilibrium but is Pareto dominated by integration.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7432.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7432
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  1. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "Cities and Cultures," Working Papers 2004.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. GianMarco Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US cities," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 91, Econometric Society.
  3. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond The Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, And The Evolution Of Ethnic And Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988, August.
  4. Marcus Berliant & Masahisa Fujita, 2009. "Dynamics of knowledge creation and transfer: The two person case," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 155-179.
  5. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2000. "Nursery Cities: Urban diversity, process innovation, and the life-cycle of products," Working Papers dpuga-00-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  6. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "'Bend It Like Beckham': Identity, Socialization and Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Benabou, Roland, 1993. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 619-52, August.
  8. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
  9. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
  10. Bellini, Elena & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P. & Pinelli, Dino & Prarolo, Giovanni, 2008. "Cultural diversity and economic performance: Evidence from European regions," HWWI Research Papers 3-14, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  11. de Bartolome, Charles A M, 1990. "Equilibrium and Inefficiency in a Community Model with Peer Group Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 110-33, February.
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