Public Choice

, Volume 150, Issue 1–2, pp 283–308 | Cite as

Is tolerance good or bad for growth?

  • Niclas BerggrenEmail author
  • Mikael Elinder


We investigate how tolerance, as measured by attitudes toward different types of neighbors, affects economic growth in a sample of 54 countries. Unlike previous studies, by Richard Florida and others, we find that tolerance toward homosexuals is negatively related to growth. For tolerance toward people of a different race, we do not find robust results, but the sign of the estimated coefficients is positive, suggesting that inclusion of people irrespective of race makes good use of productive capacity. We propose mechanisms to explain these divergent findings, which clarify why different kinds of tolerance may be of different economic importance.


Tolerance Growth Diversity Human capital Creativity Innovation 

JEL Classification

O40 Z13 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ratio InstituteStockholmSweden
  2. 2.The Ratio InstituteStockholmSweden
  3. 3.The Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)StockholmSweden
  4. 4.Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies, Department of EconomicsUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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