This seminar is intended to provide a space for conversation among University of Illinois graduate students and noted scholars in the field. It will focus primarily on research that centers on diversity issues in Higher Education. All students are welcome to attend.
4:00 pmRuth Wilson Gilmore, Professor of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences and American Studies, Graduate Center, City University of New York Cultures of Law in a Global Context Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum; 600 S. Gregory Street; Urbana IL
A growing literature suggests that increased ethnic diversity may lead to lower public expenditures. This inverse relationship may be attributable to the diversity in policy preferences which tends to coincide with ethnic diversity. When policy preferences vary widely among constituents, the subjective benefits of collective action--and therefore public spending--are reduced. Further, the subjective benefits of public spending may also be lower when the beneficiaries are viewed as ethnic outsiders. For these reasons, ethnic diversity may steer the political process toward a lower level of overall public spending. However, this negative effect may be offset by positive social contact between ethnic groups, which may serve to alleviate distrust, reduce prejudice, and foster empathy that spans ethnic boundaries.
Accordingly, the authors investigate the effects of ethnic diversity on state higher education spending with a model that allows the effect of ethnic diversity to be mediated by the degree of positive social contact between groups, which we measure with the intermarriage rate. We find that increased ethnic diversity yields a statistically significant and negative impact on state appropriations to universities, but only in states with low intermarriage rates. The magnitude of the negative effect diminishes with the rate of intermarriage. We discuss these results within the context of continued state efforts to enhance access to higher education for traditionally disadvantaged minority groups.
Research was conducted with co-author Jacob Fowles at the University of Kansas.