Diversity and Innovation

Bala Ramasamya and Matthew Yeungb, Applied Economic Letters, February 12, 2016

Abstract

Although the effect of culture on national innovation levels is well-established, previous literature assumes cultural homogeneity within a nation. In this article we analyse two aspects of diversity–ethnic and values–and their impact on national innovation output. We show that ethnic diversity or fractionalization and values diversity are distinct and while the former has a negative effect on innovation, the latter contributes positively. However, countries are bound to have both types of diversity. We find that countries that are ethnically homogenous but diverse in values orientation are the best innovators.

[Editor’s Note: The full paper is available here.]

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