How does ethnic diversity in government impact public good provision? We construct a novel dataset linking the ethnicity of California city council candidates to election outcomes and expenditure decisions. Using a regression discontinuity approach, we find that increased diversity on the council leads to less spending on public goods. This is especially true in cities with high segregation and economic inequality. Those serving on councils that experience an increase in diversity also receive fewer votes when they run for reelection. These results point towards disagreement within the council generating lower spending.
Beach, Brian, and Daniel B. Jones.
"Gridlock: Ethnic Diversity in Government and the Provision of Public Goods."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations: General
Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics
Finance in Urban and Rural Economies