Cultural diversity versus cultural distance

With Zhiling Wang and Peter Nijkamp

This study analyses the impact of cultural composition on regional attractiveness from the perspective of international migrant sorting behavior on a European regional NUTS1 level. We use an attitudinal survey to quantify cultural distances between natives and immigrants in the region concerned, and estimate the migrants’ varying preferences for both cultural diversity and cultural distance. To account for regional unobserved heterogeneity, our econometric analysis employs artificial instrumental variables, as developed by Bayer et al. (2004b). The main conclusions are twofold. On the one hand, cultural diversity increases regional attractiveness. On the other hand, average cultural distance greatly weakens regional attractiveness.

This basically means that migrants value diversity as long as the cultural distance beteween natives and immigrants is not too large.

There is a Tinbergen Institute working paper version of this paper (which can be found here ) and the paper itself is published in Spatial Economic Analysis (for more details see their website ). Note that Spatial Economic Analysis provides an eprint link which gives limited full access to the paper.

Even better than the paper perhaps for some, the journal made as well the funny looking comic below:

Our whole paper in a one-page comic!
Thomas de Graaff
Associate professor in spatial economics

My research interests include network interactions, Bayesian multilevel models and reproducibility of research