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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. Bruno Decreuse & Benoît Schmutz & Alain Trannoy & Pierre-Philippe Combes, 2011. "The neighbor is king: Customer discrimination in the housing market," 2011 Meeting Papers 1187, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Matz Dahlberg & Karin Edmark & Heléne Lundqvist, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 3325, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2009. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Working Papers hal-00973022, HAL.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  6. repec:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:2:p:607-654 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2006. "Close Neighbours Matter: Neighbourhood Effects on Early Performance at School," CEPR Discussion Papers 5682, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 2003. " Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-94, June.
  9. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," JCPR Working Papers 61, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1872-1911, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2007. "A Model of Ethnic Conflict," Working Papers 313, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  13. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Thierry Debrand & Claude Taffin, 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.
  15. 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.
  16. repec:oup:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:3:p:767-805 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Edward Miguel & Rachel Glennerster & Alexander Rothenberg, 2010. "Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities," Working Papers id:2651, eSocialSciences.
  18. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, 01.
  20. Yann Algan & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2013. "The Economic Incentives of Cultural Transmission: Spatial Evidence from Naming Patterns across France," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/bakbbitll86, Sciences Po.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  25. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
  26. 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.
  27. repec:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:4:p:1243-1284 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:847-904 is not listed on IDEAS
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