Journal Article

Participation in Heterogeneous Communities

Alberto Alesina and Eliana La Ferrara

in The Quarterly Journal of Economics

Published on behalf of President and Fellows of Harvard University

Volume 115, issue 3, pages 847-904
Published in print August 2000 | ISSN: 0033-5533
Published online August 2000 | e-ISSN: 1531-4650 | DOI:
Participation in Heterogeneous Communities

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This paper studies what determines group formation and 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 U. S. 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 groups the more racially heterogeneous their community is. These results are consistent with our model of group formation.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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