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Cultural diversity, institutions, and urban economic performance

Kemeny, Thomas (2012) Cultural diversity, institutions, and urban economic performance. Environment and Planning A, 44 (9). pp. 2134-2152. ISSN 0308-518X

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Identification Number: 10.1068/a44385


Interactions between culturally diverse individuals can spur economic benefits by stimulating new ideas that raise urban residents’ productivity. But diversity can also diminish economic well-being by making communication difficult, and by stimulating conflict. This paper investigates whether urban institutions—in particular residents’ sense of generalized trust—determine when diversity is an economic asset and when it is a liability. To do so, data on trust, birthplace diversity, wages, and demographics in US metropolitan areas are combined. The evidence suggests that workers are much better able to harness the productivity-enhancing spillovers that arise from cultural diversity when they live in cities endowed with strong informal institutions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Pion and its Licensors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2013 14:46
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:31

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