The 'Paradox of Diversity': Economic Evidence from US Cities 1980-2010

Nazmun Ratna, R. Quentin Grafton, Hang To

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We evaluate the economic significance of linguistic barriers to communication in 226 US cities from 1980 to 2010. We address the question: to what extent do linguistic barriers across social groups inhibit the benefits of knowledge exchange? The empirical results show that linguistic, racial and composite diversity increase the average income of working age population in American cities. This positive effect of diversity, however, diminishes the higher is the proportion of foreign-born population who lack English fluency. We call this the 'paradox of diversity'. Overall, our findings provide important policy insights about how social diversity may enhance economic performance within cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-37
Number of pages18
JournalAsia and the Pacific Policy Studies
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Fingerprint

linguistics
evidence
economics
income
Economic diversity
Paradox
communication
lack
knowledge
performance
Social groups
Income
Economic performance
Knowledge exchange
Proportion
Empirical results
Economic significance
Communication

Cite this

Ratna, Nazmun ; Grafton, R. Quentin ; To, Hang. / The 'Paradox of Diversity': Economic Evidence from US Cities 1980-2010. In: Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies. 2017 ; Vol. 4, No. 1. pp. 20-37.
@article{56477c08ee10481bb8401b87365f0896,
title = "The 'Paradox of Diversity': Economic Evidence from US Cities 1980-2010",
abstract = "We evaluate the economic significance of linguistic barriers to communication in 226 US cities from 1980 to 2010. We address the question: to what extent do linguistic barriers across social groups inhibit the benefits of knowledge exchange? The empirical results show that linguistic, racial and composite diversity increase the average income of working age population in American cities. This positive effect of diversity, however, diminishes the higher is the proportion of foreign-born population who lack English fluency. We call this the 'paradox of diversity'. Overall, our findings provide important policy insights about how social diversity may enhance economic performance within cities.",
keywords = "diversity, economic performance, wages, cities, immigrants",
author = "Nazmun Ratna and Grafton, {R. Quentin} and Hang To",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/app5.162",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "20--37",
journal = "Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies",
issn = "2050-2680",
number = "1",

}

The 'Paradox of Diversity': Economic Evidence from US Cities 1980-2010. / Ratna, Nazmun; Grafton, R. Quentin; To, Hang.

In: Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 20-37.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The 'Paradox of Diversity': Economic Evidence from US Cities 1980-2010

AU - Ratna, Nazmun

AU - Grafton, R. Quentin

AU - To, Hang

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - We evaluate the economic significance of linguistic barriers to communication in 226 US cities from 1980 to 2010. We address the question: to what extent do linguistic barriers across social groups inhibit the benefits of knowledge exchange? The empirical results show that linguistic, racial and composite diversity increase the average income of working age population in American cities. This positive effect of diversity, however, diminishes the higher is the proportion of foreign-born population who lack English fluency. We call this the 'paradox of diversity'. Overall, our findings provide important policy insights about how social diversity may enhance economic performance within cities.

AB - We evaluate the economic significance of linguistic barriers to communication in 226 US cities from 1980 to 2010. We address the question: to what extent do linguistic barriers across social groups inhibit the benefits of knowledge exchange? The empirical results show that linguistic, racial and composite diversity increase the average income of working age population in American cities. This positive effect of diversity, however, diminishes the higher is the proportion of foreign-born population who lack English fluency. We call this the 'paradox of diversity'. Overall, our findings provide important policy insights about how social diversity may enhance economic performance within cities.

KW - diversity

KW - economic performance

KW - wages

KW - cities

KW - immigrants

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85032811546&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/app5.162

DO - 10.1002/app5.162

M3 - Article

VL - 4

SP - 20

EP - 37

JO - Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies

JF - Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies

SN - 2050-2680

IS - 1

ER -