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Social Divergence and Economic Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Quentin Grafton

    () (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa & Institute of the Environment)

  • Stephen Knowles

    (Department of Economics, University of Otago)

  • P. Dorian Owen

    (Department of Economics, University of Otago)

Abstract

The paper introduces the concept of social divergence defined as the social barriers to communication and exchange between individuals and groups of individuals within a society. Social divergence is determined by the characteristics of a society including the distribution of income, ethnolinguistic diversity, religious diversity, educational distance, and other factors. The hypothesis is that social divergence reduces the degree of interaction between individuals that stimulates innovation and leads to the diffusion of productivity-enhancing ideas. Using a cross section of 31 developing countries, total factor productivity (TFP) is regressed on measures of social divergence. The results indicate that, separate from any effects due to factor accumulation, higher levels of social divergence result in lower levels of economic performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Quentin Grafton & Stephen Knowles & P. Dorian Owen, 2001. "Social Divergence and Economic Performance," Working Papers 0103E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:0103e
    as

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    File URL: http://sciencessociales.uottawa.ca/economics/sites/socialsciences.uottawa.ca.economics/files/0103E.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. Poyago-Theotoky, Joanna, 1998. "R&D Competition in a Mixed Duopoly under Uncertainty and Easy Imitation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 415-428, September.
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    8. Lakdawalla, Darius & Sood, Neeraj, 2004. "Social insurance and the design of innovation incentives," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 57-61, October.
    9. Emmanuel Petrakis & Joanna Poyago‐Theotoky, 2002. "R&D Subsidies versus R&D Cooperation in a Duopoly with Spillovers and Pollution," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-52, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. João Tovar Jalles & Jose Tavares, 2015. "Trade, scale or social capital? Technological progress in poor and rich countries," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(6), pages 767-808, September.
    2. R. Quentin Grafton & Stephen Knowles & P. Dorian Owen, 2002. "Social Divergence and Productivity: Making a Connection," The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress, in: Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director & France St-Hilaire, Vice-President , Research & Keith Banting, Di (ed.),The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2002: Towards a Social Understanding of Productivity, volume 2, Centre for the Study of Living Standards;The Institutute for Research on Public Policy.
    3. Diasakos, Theodoros M & Neymotin, Florence, 2013. "Coordination in Public Good Provision: How Individual Volunteering is Impacted by the Volunteering of Others," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-119, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social divergence; total factor productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General

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