The Economics of Cultural Diversity
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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.
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Chapter 5: Economic integration challenges: the Aboriginal population in Saskatchewan, Canada

M. Rose Olfert and Iryna Lobach

Extract

The term ‘cultural diversity’ has come to be associated with a range of positive characteristics of modern, innovative and tolerant societies (Agar and Brückner 2011; Beckstead et al. 2008; Florida 2002; Jacobs 1969; Kemeny 2012; Olney 2013; Ottaviano and Peri 2006; Peri 2012). This developing literature attests to the fact that significant research efforts are being devoted to understanding the relationships between cultural diversity and economic growth and innovation. At the same time, however, cultural diversity likely involves minority populations that participate in the general economic well-being to varying degrees, in some cases exhibiting considerable marginalization. Successful socio-economic integration of the various components of the diversity is key to sustainable and inclusive economic development. Barriers to integration and means of overcoming them are thus important policy issues. First Nations in Canada exemplify the long-standing, complex and tragic consequences of the lack of economic integration of a subpopulation in an advanced and growing economy. In 2004 Canada was ranked 4th in the world on the United Nations Human Development Index, but ‘Aboriginal Canada’ would slip to 78th if Aboriginal Canadians were viewed as forming a separate country – a rank held by Kazakhstan at that time (Government of Canada, Senate 2007).

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