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Identity, Community and Segregation



I develop a framework to explain why identity divides some communities and not others. An identity group is defined as a group of individuals with the same `culture'. A community is divided when different identities are socially segregated; a community is integrated when there is no social segregation between different identities. I find three possible outcomes for a community: assimilation, where groups socially integrate and one group conforms to the culture of another; non-assimilative integration, where groups integrate but individuals retain their own identity; and segregation, where groups socially segregate and retain their own culture. I find that certain community environments encourage segregation: (i) communities with similar sized identity groups; (ii) larger communities; (iii) communities with greater cultural distance between identities. Further, when segregation occurs, the cultural divide between the two groups can increase endogenously beyond ex-ante differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryony Reich, 2010. "Identity, Community and Segregation," Working Papers 10-10, NET Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Bend it like Beckham: Ethnic identity and integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 146-164.
    2. Jackson, Matthew O. & Watts, Alison, 2002. "On the formation of interaction networks in social coordination games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 265-291, November.
    3. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    4. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    5. Sergio Currarini & Matthew O. Jackson & Paolo Pin, 2009. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities, and Segregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1003-1045, July.
    6. Goyal, Sanjeev & Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2005. "Network formation and social coordination," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 178-207, February.
    7. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    8. Federico Echenique & Roland G. Fryer, 2007. "A Measure of Segregation Based on Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 441-485.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:98:y:2004:i:04:p:529-545_04 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Hojman, Daniel A. & Szeidl, Adam, 2006. "Endogenous networks, social games, and evolution," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 112-130, April.
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    More about this item


    identity; culture; segregation; immigration; immigrants; networks; network formation; coordination; stochastic stability.;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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