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Diversity in schools, socialization, marriages and the labor market.

Recent trends in migration trends in Western countries remind us that diversity is inevitable in human societies. Ensuring that this does not hinder their well-functioning is a primary challenge. The aim of this project is to understand the mechanisms through which social contact among people of different backgrounds affects behavior. In particular, we will provide causal estimates investigating when contact with minorities induces positive effects on behavior in two economic relevant contexts: the family and the labor market. To do so, we will exploit administrative data from Denmark and a unique survey conducted in the US to measure variation in inter-ethnic exposure across cohorts within schools. Using these data, we will analyze the impact of different types of contact in schools on the quality of interracial marriages and on labor market integration. Finally, we will rationalize these findings in a model where agents decide with whom to interact and provide a local public good to their neighbors, a strategic interaction that captures cooperation in an abstract way. Indeed, to design effective policies that change group composition we believe that it is important to understand how people would change their patterns of socialization after the intervention. Answering the basic question of whether increasing contact between diverse groups in schools improves intergroup relations has direct policy implications on the best way to mix pupils.
Date:1 Jan 2021  →  Today
Disciplines:Cultural economics, economic sociology, economic anthropology, Labour and demographic economics, Household behaviour and family organisations, Microeconomics not elsewhere classified