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

48 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2014 Last revised: 22 May 2015

See all articles by Brian Beach

Brian Beach

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics

Daniel Jones

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public & International Affairs

Date Written: April 2015

Abstract

How does diversity in government impact public good provision? To address this question, we construct a novel dataset linking the ethnicity of California city council candidates to election outcomes and expenditure decisions. We then study how the narrow election of a candidate whose ethnicity differs from the city’s modal ethnicity affects expenditure decisions. We find that higher diversity on the council leads to less spending on public goods (especially in segregated cities) and fewer votes for affected council members when they run for reelection.

Keywords: Diversity, government, public good provision

JEL Classification: H40, H72, D78

Suggested Citation

Beach, Brian and Jones, Daniel, Gridlock: Ethnic Diversity in Government and the Provision of Public Goods (April 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2502885 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2502885

Brian Beach (Contact Author)

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics ( email )

Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

Daniel Jones

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public & International Affairs ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15260-0001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://danielbjones.weebly.com

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