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Social Engagement and Student Body Diversity at Elite American Colleges

Sharissa Barrow and Douglas Coate

Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark from Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark

Abstract: Putnam has concluded that trust in others and civic and social engagement in the community are inversely related to the racial and ethnic diversity of the population. In this paper, we examine how measures of social engagement among college students vary with student body racial and ethnic heterogeneity at elite U.S. colleges. We find that socialization measures from the Fiske guide to colleges and from the Princeton Review guide to best colleges are inversely related to student body diversity. We also find that student retention from the freshman to the sophomore year is positively related to student body diversity. This may be because less intense social lives leaves more time for study during the freshman year, when students are learning to manage their time.

Keywords: social capital; social engagement; student body diversity; American colleges (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 11 pages
Date: 2009-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-soc
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