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‘United in Diversity’---Does Social Diversity Increase Subjective?

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  • Matthias Opfinger

Abstract

The European Union emphasizes the advantages arising from diversity. However, economic studies prove that diversity can lead to detrimental outcomes, ultimately resulting in lower well-being. This paper assesses the direct link between well-being and diversity within a society, in terms of ethnicity, language, and religion. I find that ethnic diversity is linearly and positively related to happiness and life satisfaction. The other dimensions of social diversity and well-being are related in a U-shape. At low levels of diversity an increase reduces well-being. The relationship becomes positive only if diversity is sufficiently high. I argue that a threat to the dominant position of one group prevents the formation of a common identity. If diversity is sufficiently high, the groups have to establish contact which reduces prejudices and helps to form a common identity.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Opfinger, 2014. "‘United in Diversity’---Does Social Diversity Increase Subjective?," Research Papers in Economics 2014-10, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:trr:wpaper:201410
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    File URL: http://www.uni-trier.de/fileadmin/fb4/prof/VWL/EWF/Research_Papers/2014-10.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Opfinger, Matthias & Gundlach, Erich, 2011. "Religiosity as a determinant of happiness," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 48360, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Matthias Opfinger, 2014. "Two Sides of a Medal: the Changing Relationship between Religious Diversity and Religiosity," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 72(4), pages 523-548, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Loay Alnaji & Mahmoud Yousef Askari & Ghaleb A. El Refae, 2016. "Can tolerance of diverse groups improve the wellbeing of societies?," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 11(1), pages 48-57.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Diversity; Common Identity; Group Threat; Tolerant Societies;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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