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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8621
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  1. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Bruno Decreuse & Benoît Schmutz & Alain Trannoy, 2012. "The Neighbor is King: Customer Discrimination in the Housing Market," AMSE Working Papers 1224, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
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  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.
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  7. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  9. 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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  15. Disdier, Anne-Célia & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2006. "Exposure to Foreign Media and Changes in Cultural Traits: Evidence from Naming Patterns in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 5674, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  22. 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.
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  25. 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.
  26. Edward Miguel & Rachel Glennerster & Alexander Rothenberg, 2010. "Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities," Working Papers id:2651, eSocialSciences.
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  29. Scott E. Page, 2007. "Prologue to The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies
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    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
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