Working Paper No. 846

Is Tolerance Good or Bad for Growth?

Published: August 16, 2010Pages: 34Keywords: Tolerance; Growth; Diversity; Human Capital; Creativity; Innovation JEL-codes: O40; Z13
Published version

Is Tolerance Good or Bad for Growth? Niclas Berggren and Mikael Elinder

We investigate to what extent tolerance, as measured by attitudes toward different types of neighbors, affects economic growth. Data from the World Values Survey enables us to investigate tolerance–growth relationships for 54 countries. We provide estimates based on cross-sectional as well as panel-data regressions. In addition we test for robustness with respect to model specification and sample composition. Unlike previous studies, by Richard Florida and others, we find that tolerance toward homosexuals is negatively related to growth. For tolerance toward people of a different race, we do not find robust results, but the sign of the estimated coefficients is positive, suggesting that inclusion of people irrespective of race makes good use of productive capacity. We propose mechanisms to explain these divergent findings, which clarify why different kinds of tolerance may be of different economic importance.

Niclas Berggren


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Mikael Elinder


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Mob: +46 70 769 0976

Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

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In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


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