This article is the third in a series of studies measuring the impact of cultural diversity on human development. We disaggregate cultural diversity into three components: ethnicity, language, and religion. The first study examined the impact of diversity internationally. We found that countries are worse off with greater diversity, especially religious diversity; however, we found that more-prosperous countries with strong institutions benefited from increased diversity. We concluded that strong institutions are essential to maximize the benefits of diversity while mitigating the associated costs. The second study examined the impact of diversity within the United States, where institutional strength was assumed to be relatively great and similar between states. We found an overall negative impact from diversity. Ethnic diversity was negatively associated with human development, while religious and language diversity had a positive impact. We concluded that in the United States, there is more tolerance for religious and language differences compared to ethnic differences. In this third study, we examine the impact of diversity within the state of Indiana. As with our national results, we find a generally negative relationship between human development and diversity. Ethnic diversity has a negative impact, while religious and language diversity are generally positive influences. Strong political and legal institutions may not be sufficient to extract net benefits from diversity if social attitudes that guide behavior are not supportive. The results suggest that net benefits from diversity in Indiana may depend on improvement of social attitudes and in commitment to social services that support historically disadvantaged minority groups.
VanAlstine, Jason; Cox, Steven R.; Roden, Dianne M.; and Boothby, Lisa
"Diversity in the Heartland of America: The Impact on Human Development in Indiana,"
Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences: Vol. 20
, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.butler.edu/jiass/vol20/iss1/11