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Cultural Identity and Knowledge Creation in Cosmopolitan Cities

  • Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

    (Bocconi University, DEP-KITeS, FEEM and CEPR)

  • Giovanni Prarolo

    (University of Bologna and FEEM)

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 Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2009.72.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2009.72
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  1. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Peri, Giovanni, 2005. "Cities and cultures," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 304-337, September.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Giovanni Prarolo & Elena Bellini & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Dino Pinelli, 2009. "Cultural Diversity and Economic Performance: Evidence from European Regions," Working Papers 2009.63, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot: Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," Papers 1999-10, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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