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Gridlock: Ethnic Diversity in Government and the Provision of Public Goods

Brian Beach () and Daniel Jones ()

American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2017, vol. 9, issue 1, 112-36

Abstract: How does ethnic diversity in government impact public good provision? We construct a novel dataset linking the ethnicity of California city council candidates to election outcomes and expenditure decisions. Using a regression discontinuity approach, we find that increased diversity on the council leads to less spending on public goods. This is especially true in cities with high segregation and economic inequality. Those serving on councils that experience an increase in diversity also receive fewer votes when they run for reelection. These results point towards disagreement within the council generating lower spending.

JEL-codes: D72 H41 H70 J15 R23 R51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150394
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