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Ethnic Diversity and Its Effects on Social Cohesion - Printable Version

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Ethnic Diversity and Its Effects on Social Cohesion - Chuck - 2016-Feb-26

I came across the following paper, "Ethnic Diversity and Its Effects on Social Cohesion". Based on a meta-analysis of 90 papers, the authors find no association between ethnic diversity and social trust, contradicting earlier narrative reports. Any thoughts. (Actually, I just wanted an excuse to upload the suppl. Files here.)


RE: Ethnic Diversity and Its Effects on Social Cohesion - Emil - 2016-Feb-26

Oh dear, maybe Putnam's effect isn't real at all. Silly that he spent years hiding it then.

Edit: Not a good meta-analysis. Not only is it not quantitative in meta-analyzing effect sizes, they write:

Quote:In addition, high levels of ethnic heterogeneity often go hand in hand with economic inequality and low levels of economic prosperity (Letki 2008, Phan 2008). As economic deprivation and inequality may mediate the observed relationships between ethnic heterogeneity and social cohesion, studies in which economic characteristics are included in the explanatory model can make a firmer claim that they are not reporting spurious effects of
heterogeneity.

Thus, they prefer studies that have a high likelihood of over-correcting.


RE: Ethnic Diversity and Its Effects on Social Cohesion - Martin Alexander - 2016-Feb-27

Yeah, I've parsed through about 30 or so studies here. Many of the studies have problematic measures and/or controls. For instance: controlling for the proportion of ethnic groups or measuring diversity in a very narrow sense that considers, say, English and Welsh to be as different as Germans and Nigerians.


RE: Ethnic Diversity and Its Effects on Social Cohesion - Emil - 2016-Feb-27

The worst paper of this sort that I have seen in the one finding that diversity has a positive impact on group performance. For their pure groups, they used groups consisting only of Hispanics. For their diverse groups, they used mixed groups of Hispanics, Whites and/or Asians. There were no pure White or Asian groups. Their effect would seem to be explainable from the group differences in cognitive ability + a simple compositional model.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember what the paper is called.

When genomic data becomes more widespread, one can directly measure diversity in the genes for a group of persons and use that as a measure of racial diversity. Of course, it is possible to get a culturally homogeneous group from a racially diverse group, but this rarely happens in practice. Perhaps e.g. in Silicon Valley with Europeans and Asians, and at universities that do not use affirmative action (MIT?).