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Diversity and Public Goods: a Natural Experiment with Exogeneous Residential Allocation

  • Algan, Yann
  • Hémet, Camille
  • Laitin, David

This paper demonstrates the effects of ethnic and religious diversity on the quality of public spaces. Its identification strategy relies on the exogeneity of public housing allocations in France, and thereby eliminates the bias from endogenous sorting. The paper uses micro evidence of social interactions within housing blocks from the representative French Housing survey, which allows for a detailed identification of the channels through which diversity operates. Differentiating among three channels of public goods provision, the paper finds that heterogeneity in the housing block leads to low levels of sanctions for anti-social behavior and low levels of collective action to improve housing conditions, but no losses in public safety.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8621.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8621
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2002. "Fractionalization," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1959, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    • Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    • Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," NBER Working Papers 9411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2008. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 14316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805, August.
  4. Dahlberg, Matz & Edmark, Karin & Lundqvist, Heléne, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution," Working Paper Series 860, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross & Giorgio Topa, 2004. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working papers 2004-07, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2005.
  6. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Decreuse, Bruno & Schmutz, Benoît & Trannoy, Alain, 2012. "The neighbor is king: Customer discrimination in the housing market," CEPR Discussion Papers 9160, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2006. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Development Working Papers 213, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  8. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2001. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 500-528, June.
  9. Lawrence Katz & B. Jeffrey Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," Working Papers 820, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  10. Fearon, James D. & Laitin, David D., 2000. "Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(04), pages 845-877, September.
  11. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
  12. Claude Taffin & Thierry Debrand, 2005. "Les facteurs structurels et conjoncturels de la mobilité résidentielle depuis 20 ans," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 381(1), pages 125-146.
  13. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2006. "Close Neighbours Matter: Neighbourhood Effects on Early Performance at School," IZA Discussion Papers 2095, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Algan, Yann & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2013. "The Economic Incentives of Cultural Transmission: Spatial Evidence from Naming Patterns across France," CEPR Discussion Papers 9416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  17. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation In Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904, August.
  18. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
  20. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  22. Edward Miguel & Rachel Glennerster & Alexander Rothenberg, 2010. "Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities," Working Papers id:2651, eSocialSciences.
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