Participation in Heterogeneous Communities

Bocconi University, IGIER Working Paper Series No. 151

59 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 1999

See all articles by Eliana La Ferrara

Eliana La Ferrara

University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Alberto F. Alesina

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: June 1999

Abstract

This paper studies both theoretically and empirically the determinants of group formation and of the degree of participation when the population is heterogeneous, both in terms of income and race or ethncity. We are especially interested in whether and how much the degree of heterogeneity in communities infuences the amount of participation in different types of groups. Using survey data on group membership and data on US localities, we find that, after controlling for many individual characteristics, participation in social activities is significatively lower in more unequal and in more racially or ethnically fragmented localities. We also find that those individuals who express views against racial mixing are less prone to participate in groups the more racially heterogeneous their community is.

JEL Classification: H59

Suggested Citation

La Ferrara, Eliana and Alesina, Alberto F., Participation in Heterogeneous Communities (June 1999). Bocconi University, IGIER Working Paper Series No. 151. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=167328 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.167328

Eliana La Ferrara (Contact Author)

University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER) ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy
+39 02 5836 3328 (Phone)
+39 02 5836 3302 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Alberto F. Alesina

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-8388 (Phone)
617-495-7730 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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