Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Unity in Diversity? How Intergroup Contact Can Foster Nation Building

Author(s): Samuel Bazzi, Arya Gaduh, Alexander Rothenberg and Maisy Wong

Publication Date: October 2017

Keyword(s): Cultural change, diversity, identity, Language, migration and Nation building

Programme Area(s): Development Economics

Abstract: We use a population resettlement program in Indonesia to identify long-run effects of intergroup contact on national integration. In the 1980s, the government relocated two million ethnically diverse migrants into hundreds of new communities. We find greater integration in fractionalized communities with many small groups, as measured by national language use at home, intermarriage, and children's name choices. However, in polarized communities with a few large groups, ethnic attachment increases and integration declines. Residential segregation dampens these effects. Social capital, public goods, and ethnic conflict follow similar patterns. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of localized contact in shaping identity.

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Bibliographic Reference

Bazzi, S, Gaduh, A, Rothenberg, A and Wong, M. 2017. 'Unity in Diversity? How Intergroup Contact Can Foster Nation Building'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.