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Diversity and Public Goods: A Natural Experiment with Exogenous Residential Allocation

  • Algan, Yann


    (Sciences Po, Paris)

  • Hémet, Camille


    (Sciences Po, Paris)

  • Laitin, David D.


    (Stanford University)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6053.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6053
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  1. Bayer, Patrick & Ross, Stephen L., 2005. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 8, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  2. Matz Dahlberg & Karin Edmark & Heléne Lundqvist, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 3325, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2006. "Close Neighbours Matter: Neighbourhood Effects on Early Performance at School," IZA Discussion Papers 2095, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Bruno Decreuse & Benoît Schmutz & Alain Trannoy, 2010. "The Neighbor is King: Customer Discrimination in the Housing Market," IDEP Working Papers 1003, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Jun 2010.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. 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.
  9. Disdier, Anne-Célia & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2010. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 226-238, March.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," NBER Working Papers 9411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2008. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 14316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  14. Algan, Yann & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2013. "The Economic Incentives of Cultural Transmission: Spatial Evidence from Naming Patterns across France," CEPR Discussion Papers 9416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross & Giorgio Topa, 2005. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 927, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  16. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Edward Miguel & Rachel Glennerster & Alexander Rothenberg, 2010. "Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities," Working Papers id:2651, eSocialSciences.
  18. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
  19. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," NBER Working Papers 11577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," NBER Working Papers 9938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Joan Mª Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2015. "A Model of Ethnic Conflict," Working Papers 253, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  23. Scott E. Page, 2007. "Prologue to The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies
    [The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and So
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  24. Claude Taffin & Thierry Debrand, 2005. "Les facteurs structurels et conjoncturels de la mobilité résidentielle depuis 20 ans," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 381(1), pages 125-146.
  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. 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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