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How Diverse Can Spatial Measures of Cultural Diversity Be? Results from Monte Carlo Simulations on an Agent-Based Model

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 14-081/VIII

29 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2014  

Daniel Arribas-Bel

University of Liverpool

Peter Nijkamp

VU University of Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics; Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)

Jacques Poot

University of Waikato - National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: April 17, 2014

Abstract

Cultural diversity is a complex and multi-faceted concept. Commonly used quantitative measures of the spatial distribution of culturally-defined groups -- such as segregation, isolation or concentration indexes -- are often only capable of identifying just one aspect of this distribution. The strengths or weaknesses of any measure can only be comprehensively assessed empirically. This paper provides evidence on the empirical properties of various spatial measures of cultural diversity by using Monte Carlo replications of agent-based modeling (MC-ABM) simulations with synthetic data assigned to a realistic and detailed geographical context of the city of Amsterdam. Schelling's classical segregation model is used as the theoretical engine to generate patterns of spatial clustering. The data inputs include the initial population, the number and shares of various cultural groups, and their preferences with respect to co-location. Our MC-ABM data generating process generates output maps that enable us to assess the performance of various spatial measures of cultural diversity under a range of demographic compositions and preferences. We find that, as our simulated city becomes more diverse, stable residential location equilibria are only possible when particularly minorities become more tolerant. We test whether observed measures can be interpreted as revealing unobserved preferences for co-location of individuals with their own group and find that the segregation and isolation measures of spatial diversity are shown to be non-decreasing in increasing preference for within-group co-location, but the Gini coefficient and concentration measures are not.

Keywords: cultural diversity, spatial segregation, agent-based model, Monte Carlo simulation

JEL Classification: C63, J15, R23, Z13

Suggested Citation

Arribas-Bel, Daniel and Nijkamp, Peter and Poot, Jacques, How Diverse Can Spatial Measures of Cultural Diversity Be? Results from Monte Carlo Simulations on an Agent-Based Model (April 17, 2014). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 14-081/VIII. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462417

Daniel Arribas-Bel (Contact Author)

University of Liverpool ( email )

Roxby Building
74 S Bedford St
Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZT
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://darribas.org

Peter Nijkamp

VU University of Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 4446091 (Phone)
+31 20 4445611 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

Jacques Poot

University of Waikato - National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis ( email )

Te Raupapa
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton, 3240
New Zealand

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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