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Participation in Heterogeneous Communities

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Eliana La Ferrara

This paper studies both theoretically and empirically the determinants of group formation and of the degree of participation when the population is heterogeneous, both in terms of income and race or ethncity. We are especially interested in whether and how much the degree of heterogeneity in communities infuences the amount of participation in different types of groups. Using survey data on group membership and data on US localities, we find that, after controlling for many individual characteristics, participation in social activities is significatively lower in more unequal and in more racially or ethnically fragmented localities. We also find that those individuals who express views against racial mixing are less prone to participate in groups the more racially heterogeneous their community is.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 151.

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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:151
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  11. 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.
  12. John P. Conley & Myrna Holtz Wooders, 1998. "Taste-homogeneity of Optimal Jurisdictions in a Tiebout Economy with Crowding Types," Working Papers mwooders-98-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  13. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-90, June.
  14. Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, And Sacrifice: An Economist'S View Of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953, August.
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  18. 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.
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  20. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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