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The Social Effects of Ethnic Diversity at the Local Level: A Natural Experiment with Exogenous Residential Allocation

Author

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  • Yann Algan

    () (Département d'économie, Sciences Po - Sciences Po)

  • Camille Hémet

    (Département d'économie, Sciences Po - Sciences Po, GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

  • David Laitin

    (Department of Political Science, Stanford University - Stanford University [Stanford])

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the effects of ethnic diversity on social relationships and the quality of public spaces at a very finite neighborhood level. We use detailed block level data on diversity and housing quality from a representative survey on housing in France. We show how and to what extent diversity within a neighborhood can directly affect household well-being and the quality of the common spaces, whereas the previous literature looks at more aggregate outcomes through voting channels. Our identification strategy relies on the exogeneity of public housing allocations with respect to ethnic characteristics in France, to address the bias due to endogenous residential sorting. Diversity is shown to have a negative effect on the quality of local public goods, either due to vandalism, not deterred by other-regarding preferences and social policing, or due to collective action failure to ensure effective property management. However, we find that diversity has no robust effect on public safety at a local level and, if anything, is more related to social anomie.

Suggested Citation

  • Yann Algan & Camille Hémet & David Laitin, 2013. "The Social Effects of Ethnic Diversity at the Local Level: A Natural Experiment with Exogenous Residential Allocation," Working Papers halshs-00843173, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00843173
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00843173
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gregory Verdugo & Sorana Toma, 2018. "Can public housing decrease segragation ? Lessons and challenges from Non-European immigration in France," Sciences Po publications 17, Sciences Po.
    2. Monica Langella & Alan Manning, 2016. "Diversity and Neighbourhood Satisfaction," CEP Discussion Papers dp1459, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Xu, Guo, 2013. "Development through Empowerment: Delivering Effective Public Services – a Literature Review," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 382, Asian Development Bank.
    4. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Decreuse, Bruno & Schmutz, Benoît & Trannoy, Alain, 2018. "Neighbor discrimination theory and evidence from the French rental market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 104-123.
    5. Lapointe, Simon, 2018. "“Love thy neighbour”? The effect of income and language differences on votes for municipal secessions," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 229-245.
    6. Pietro Battiston & Simona Gamba, 2016. "When the two ends meet: an experiment on cooperation across the Italian North-South divide," LEM Papers Series 2016/41, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    7. Matthew Collin, 2013. "Tribe or title? Ethnic enclaves and the demand for formal land tenure in a Tanzanian slum," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Camille Hémet & Clément Malgouyres, 2018. "Diversity and Employment Prospects: Neighbors Matter!," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(3), pages 825-858.
    9. Claire Adida & David Laitin & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2014. "Muslims in France: identifying a discriminatory equilibrium," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 1039-1086, October.
    10. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr, 2018. "The Effects of Immigration in Developed Countries: Insights from Recent Economic Research," CEPII Policy Brief 2018-22, CEPII research center.
    11. Borisova, Ekaterina I. & Polishchuk, Leonid & Peresetsky, Anatoly, 2014. "Collective management of residential housing in Russia: The importance of being social," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 609-629.
    12. Gomes, Joseph, 2014. "The health costs of ethnic distance: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-33, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    13. Valeria Rueda & Guillaume Laval & Etienne Patin, 2016. "Achieving the American Dream: Cultural Distance, Cultural Diversity and Economic Performance," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _140, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    14. Mavridis, Dimitris, 2015. "Ethnic Diversity and Social Capital in Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 376-395.
    15. Valeria Rueda, 2016. "When the times they’re not a changin': Essays on the persistent effects of religion, investments, and ancestry on economic, social, and political behaviors at the subnational level," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7t43ra4ari8, Sciences Po.
    16. Lisa D. Cook & Trevon D. Logan & John M. Parman, 2017. "Racial Segregation and Southern Lynching," NBER Working Papers 23813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. repec:eee:wdevel:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:27-39 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:eee:deveco:v:133:y:2018:i:c:p:231-263 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    diversity; neighborhood effects; living conditions; public housing;

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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