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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 9: Ethnic heterogeneity at neighbourhood level in the Netherlands

Aslan Zorlu and Joop Hartog

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


Public debates about immigrants in the Netherlands, on problematic social integration, low economic status, low schooling attainment, social tension, crime, tend to assume implicitly that all immigrants are concentrated in the poor neighbourhoods in the larger cities and that policies to tackle the problems should be policies aimed at these neighbourhoods. Some years ago, this was even made very explicit, by targeting socio-economic policies to problem neighbourhoods, with high shares of non-western immigrants a key variable in selecting these neighbourhoods. Debates about unequal quality of education often focus on the problem of ‘black’ schools (schools dominated by immigrant children) in immigrant neighbourhoods. Problems of immigrant communities in a few large cities get disproportionate attention in the media and may easily equate issues of integration of immigrants with problems in a few cities. The purpose of this chapter is to expose the regional dispersion of immigrants across neighbourhoods and the extent of concentration of immigrants groups in the Netherlands. The assumption of strong concentration in immigrant neighbourhoods appears to be clearly false.

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