NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Participation in Heterogeneous Communities

Alberto Alesina, Eliana La Ferrara

NBER Working Paper No. 7155
Issued in June 1999
NBER Program(s):   PE

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 ethnicity. We are especially interested in whether and how much the degree of heterogeneity in communities influences 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 significantly 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 the groups the more racially heterogeneous their community is.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7155

Published: Alesina, Alberto and Elliana La Ferrara. "Participation In Heterogeneous Communities," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2000, v115(3,Aug), 847-904.

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