Cultural Diversity Versus Economic Solidarity by Philippe Van Parijs

By Philippe Van Parijs

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Follesdal (2000). These observations do not detract from what I regard as important and plausible implications of the findings and arguments presented by Soroka, Johnston, Banting and by Miller regarding multicultural policies, namely the role of institutions in creating and maintaining necessary forms of trust among citizens. This concerns both the policies addressing multiculturalism and those regarding redistribution. We should consider the need to create trust when crafting multicultural policies, for instance worry about setting up special institutions for groups if the result is to prevent day to day interaction and hence understanding and respect, among ordinary • 67 • Do multicultural policies erode trust in redistributive programs?

Miguel and Gugerty assume that such sanctions are more effective if imposed within ethnic groups than between groups. They find support for this hypothesis in their data, collected in rural western Kenya, where primary school committees exert less pressure and impose fewer sanctions on parents who do not pay school fees and generally do not contribute to school needs, compared to committees in more homogeneous areas. 6 La Ferrara (2002b) studies the role of heterogeneity in the context of production cooperatives using a unique dataset on “selfhelp” groups with income generating activities collected in the informal settlements of Nairobi in 1999.

The institutions we model are the commonly observed human practices of resource sharing among group members including non-kin and patterns of residence and social differentiation that result in a greater likelihood of like types interacting (positive assortation). Our model could easily be extended to study other group level institutions that, like resource sharing, reduce the within group variance of material and hence reproductive success. Included are information sharing, consensus decision making, and monogamy.

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