Table of Contents

The Economics of Cultural Diversity

The Economics of Cultural Diversity

Edited by Peter Nijkamp, Jacques Poot and Jessie Bakens

The populations of many countries in the world are becoming more culturally diverse. This spurs a growing need for an informed debate on the socio-economic implications of cultural diversity. This book offers a solid statistical and econometric perspective on this topical subject by bringing together studies from different countries in Europe and North America. The research in this volume sheds light on several consequences of cultural diversity, including positive impacts on innovation, growth and entrepreneurship, with contributions highlighting how there can be negative social effects on communities. Throughout the volume, it is evident that the effects of cultural diversity on socio-economic outcomes depend largely on the characteristics of local economies, populations and communities.

Chapter 2: Cultural diversity: a matter of measurement

Peter Nijkamp and Jacques Poot

Subjects: economics and finance, labour economics, regional economics, urban and regional studies, migration, regional economics


Migration and cultural diversity are intertwined phenomena. Following several decades of growing numbers of immigrants in the developed world, the populations of host countries have become more diverse: culturally, socio-economically, but also spatially. This transformation has been particularly prominent in Europe. During the last three decades, the foreign-born population in Europe has increased more than in any other part of the world. While migrants from some backgrounds adopt the dominant culture of the host society quickly, others maintain the culture of their home country and pass this on to their children and subsequent generations. Aspects of foreign cultures are also adopted by the host population and people may feel individually attached to several cultures. Moreover, cultures are never static but evolve and adjust in migrants’ countries of origin and countries of destination. The issue of cultural diversity has in recent years prompted a wealth of scientific research, both conceptually and empirically. In our ‘age of migration’ we observe interesting distinct patterns of living, working, communicating, bonding and other behavior among and between different cultural groups.

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