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The Cost of Segregation in Social Networks

  • Nizar Allouch

    (, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance, UK)

This paper investigates the private provision of public goods in segregated societies. While most research agrees that segregation undermines public provision, the findings are mixed for private provision: social interactions, being strong within groups and limited across groups, may either increase or impede voluntary contributions. Moreover, although efficiency concerns generally provide a rationale for government intervention, surprisingly, little light is shed in the literature on the potential effectiveness of such intervention in a segregated society. This paper first develops an index based on social interactions, which, roughly speaking, measures the welfare impact of income redistribution in an arbitrary society. It then shows that the proposed index vanishes when applied to large segregated societies, which suggests an “asymptotic neutrality” of redistributive policies.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2013.52.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.52
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  1. Bloch, Francis & Zenginobuz, Unal, 2004. "The Effect of Spillovers on the Provision of Local Public Goods," MPRA Paper 186, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Oct 2006.
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  3. Raquel Fernández & Gilat Levy, 2005. "Diversity and redistribution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 544, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Bramoulle, Yann & Kranton, Rachel, 2007. "Public goods in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 478-494, July.
  5. Sergio Currarini & Paolo Pin & Matthew O. Jackson, 2007. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities and Segregation," Working Papers 2007_20, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
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  7. James M. Poterba, 1997. "Demographic structure and the political economy of public education," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
  8. Nizar Allouch, 2012. "On the Private Provision of Public Goods on Networks," Working Papers 689, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  9. 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.
  10. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer & Rohini Somanathan, 2005. "History, Social Divisions, and Public Goods in Rural India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 639-647, 04/05.
  11. 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.
  12. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  13. Jacob L. Vigdor, 2004. "Community Composition and Collective Action: Analyzing Initial Mail Response to the 2000 Census," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 303-312, February.
  14. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  15. Bramoullé, Yann & Currarini, Sergio & Jackson, Matthew O. & Pin, Paolo & Rogers, Brian W., 2012. "Homophily and long-run integration in social networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1754-1786.
  16. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Politics of Public Good Provision: Evidence from Indian Local Governments," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 416-426, 04/05.
  18. Coralio Ballester & Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2004. "Who's Who in Networks. Wanted: The Key Player," Working Papers 178, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  19. Yann Rébillé & Lionel Richefort, 2012. "Welfare Analysis in Games with substitutabilities," Working Papers hal-00732950, HAL.
  20. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  21. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  22. Christina M. Fong & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2009. "What Determines Giving to Hurricane Katrina Victims? Experimental Evidence on Racial Group Loyalty," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 64-87, April.
  23. Rahmi İlkılıç, 2011. "Networks of common property resources," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 105-134, May.
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