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How Diverse Can Spatial Measures of Cultural Diversity Be? Results from Monte Carlo Simulations of an Agent-Based Model

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  • Arribas-Bel, Daniel

    () (University of Liverpool)

  • Nijkamp, Peter

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Poot, Jacques

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Abstract

Cultural diversity is a complex and multi-faceted concept. Commonly used quantitative measures of the spatial distribution of culturally-defined groups – such as segregation, isolation or concentration indexes – are often only capable of identifying just one aspect of this distribution. The strengths or weaknesses of any measure can only be comprehensively assessed empirically. This paper provides evidence on the empirical properties of various spatial measures of cultural diversity by using Monte Carlo replications of agent-based modeling (MC-ABM) simulations with synthetic data assigned to a realistic and detailed geographical context of the city of Amsterdam. Schelling's classical segregation model is used as the theoretical engine to generate patterns of spatial clustering. The data inputs include the initial population, the number and shares of various cultural groups, and their preferences with respect to co-location. Our MC-ABM data generating process produces output maps that enable us to assess the performance of various spatial measures of cultural diversity under a range of demographic compositions and preferences. We find that, as our simulated city becomes more diverse, stable residential location equilibria are only possible when people, particularly minorities, become more tolerant. We test whether observed measures can be interpreted as revealing unobserved preferences for co-location of individuals with their own group and find that the segregation and isolation measures of spatial diversity are shown to be non-decreasing in increasing preference for within-group co-location, but the Gini coefficient and concentration measures are not.

Suggested Citation

  • Arribas-Bel, Daniel & Nijkamp, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 2014. "How Diverse Can Spatial Measures of Cultural Diversity Be? Results from Monte Carlo Simulations of an Agent-Based Model," IZA Discussion Papers 8251, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8251
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
    2. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
    3. Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot & Mediha Sahin (ed.), 2012. "Migration Impact Assessment," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14476, April.
    4. W. Clark, 1991. "Residential preferences and neighborhood racial segregation: A test of the schelling segregation model," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 28(1), pages 1-19, February.
    5. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-493, May.
    6. Maurel, Francoise & Sedillot, Beatrice, 1999. "A measure of the geographic concentration in french manufacturing industries," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 575-604, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    agent-based model; spatial segregation; cultural diversity; Monte Carlo simulation;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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