Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Papers to read

Bend It Like Beckham: Ethnic Identity and Integration
by Alberto Bisin, Eleonora Patacchini, Thierry Verdier, Yves Zenou  -  #16465 (POL)


We propose a theoretical framework to study the determinants of ethnic and religious identity along two distinct motivational processes which have been proposed in the social sciences:  cultural conformity and cultural distinction.  Under cultural conformity, ethnic identity is reduced by neighborhood integration, which weakens group loyalties and prejudices.  On the contrary, under cultural distinction, ethnic minorities are more motivated in retaining their own distinctive cultural heritage the more integrated are the neighborhoods where they reside and work.  Data on ethnic preferences and attitudes provided by the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities in the UK enables us to test the relative significance of these two identity processes.  We find evidence consistent with intense ethnic and religious identity mostly formed as a cultural distinction mechanism.  Consistently, we document that ethnic identities are more intense in mixed than in segregated neighborhoods.


Why Isn't Mexico Rich?
by Gordon H. Hanson  -  #16470 (ITI)


Over the last three decades, Mexico has aggressively reformed its economy, opening to foreign trade and investment, achieving fiscal discipline, and privatizing state owned enterprises.  Despite these efforts, the country's economic growth has been lackluster, trailing that of many other developing nations.  In this paper, I review arguments for why Mexico hasn't sustained higher rates of economic growth.  The most prominent suggest that some combination of poorly functioning credit markets, distortions in the supply of non traded inputs, and perverse incentives for informality creates a drag on productivity growth.  These are factors internal to Mexico.  One possible external factor is that the country has the bad luck of exporting goods that China sells, rather than goods that China buys. I assess evidence from recent literature on these arguments and suggest directions for future research.


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