Immigrant Heterogeneity and Urban Development: A Conceptual Analysis

  • Jessie BakensEmail author
  • Peter Nijkamp
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


In this chapter we examine the contribution of immigrant heterogeneity to the attractiveness of cities from both the production and the consumption side. Based on an extensive literature review, we hypothesize that the interaction of people from different cultural groups in cities will increase labour productivity in line with the concepts of Jacobs externalities. For the consumption side of the model – a far less researched issue – we hypothesize that urban cultural diversity increases the heterogeneity in the private goods provided, which will increase the utility of living in that area. We argue that future research should focus on the interaction of people from different cultures in the workplace in order to determine urban productivity externalities, and on immigrant-induced product heterogeneity in a city in order to determine immigrant-induced urban amenities. To answer these questions, the use of micro datasets is inevitable.


Cultural diversity Urban amenities Urban productivity 


  1. Abadie A, Gardeazabal J (2003) The economic costs of conflict: a case study for the Basque country. Am Econ Rev 93:113–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akçomak IS (2009) Bridges in social capital: a review of the definitions and the social capital of social capital researchers, UNU-MERIT working paper, 20092002Google Scholar
  3. Alesina A, La Ferrara E (2002) Who trusts others? J Public Econ 85:207–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alesina A, La Ferrara E (2005) Ethnic diversity and economic performance. J Econ Lit 43:762–800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alesina A, Baqir R, Easterly W (1999) Public goods and ethnic division. Quart J Econ 111:1243–1284Google Scholar
  6. Alesina A, Baqir R, Hoxby C (2004) Political jurisdictions in heterogeneous communities. J Polit Econ 112:384–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bakens J, Nijkamp P (2010) Lessons from migration impact analysis. Rev Portuguesa de Estudos Regionais 24:5–16Google Scholar
  8. Bartel AP (1989) Where do the new U.S. immigrants live? J Lab Econ 7:371–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bauernschuster S, Falck O, Gold R, Heblich S (2012) Explicitly implicit: how institutional differences influence entrepreneurship. In: Crescenzi R, Percoco M (eds) Geography, institutions and regional economic performance. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  10. Baycan-Levent T (2010) Diversity and creativity as seedbeds for urban and regional dynamics. Eur Plan Stud 18(4):565–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bellini E, Ottaviano GIP, Pinelli D, Prarolo G (2012) Cultural diversity and economic performance: evidence from European regions. In: Crescenzi R and Percoco M (eds) Geography, institutions and regional economic performance. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  12. Boarnet MG (1994) The monocentric model and employment location. J Urban Econ 36:79–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Boarnet MG, Chalermpong S, Geho E (2005) Specification issues in models of population and employment growth. Pap Reg Sci 84(1):21–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Borjas GJ (2005) Foreign-born domestic supply of science and engineering workforce. Am Econ Rev 95:56–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Card D (1990) The impact of the Mariel boatlift on the Miami labor market. Ind Labor Relat Rev 43(2):245–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Card D (2001) Immigrant inflows, native outflows and the local market impacts of higher immigration. J Labor Econ 19(1):22–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Card D (2009) Immigration and inequality. Am Econ Rev 992:1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. CCSCE (2005) The impact of immigration on the California economy. Centre for Continuing Study of the California Economy, Palo AltoGoogle Scholar
  19. Combes P, Duranton G, Gobillon L (2011) The identification of agglomeration economies. J Econ Geogr 11:253–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dalmazzo A, de Blasio G (2010) Amenities and skill-biased agglomeration effects: some results on Italian cities. Pap Reg Sci. doi:10.1111/j.1435-5957.2010.00327.xGoogle Scholar
  21. de Groot HLF, Poot J, Smit M (2009) Agglomeration, innovation and regional development: theoretical perspectives and meta-analysis. In: Capello R, Nijkamp P (eds) Handbook of regional growth and development theories. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 256–281Google Scholar
  22. Deitz R (1998) A joint model of residential and employment location in urban areas. J Urban Econ 44(2):197–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Econtech (2006) The economic impacts of migration: a comparison of two approaches. Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Kingston/SydneyGoogle Scholar
  24. Falck O, Heblich S, Lameli A, Suedekum J (2010) Dialects, cultural identity, and economic exchange. IZA Discussion paper series, Bonn, no 4743Google Scholar
  25. Florax RJGM, de Graaff T, Waldorf BS (2005) A spatial economic perspective on language acquisition: segregation, networking, and assimilation of immigrants. Environ Plan A 37:1877–1897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fujita M, Krugman P, Venables AJ (1999) The spatial economy: cities, regions, and international trade. The MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  27. Glaeser EL (2010) The paradox of urban triumph. CPB Lecture, June 2010Google Scholar
  28. Glaeser EL, Kallal HD, Scheinkman JA, Shleifer A (1992) Growth in cities. J Polit Econ 100:1126–1152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Glaeser EL, Kolko J, Saiz A (2001) Consumer city. J Econ Geogr 1:27–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Graves PE (1980) Migration and climate. J Reg Sci 20:227–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Greenwood MJ, Hunt GL (1989) Jobs versus amenities in the analysis of metropolitan migration. J Urban Econ 25:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jacobs J (1961) The death and life of great American cities. Vintage Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Jacobs J (1969) The economy of cities. Vintage Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. Longhi S, Nijkamp P, Poot J (2005a) A meta-analytic assessment of the effect of immigration on wages. J Econ Surv 19:451–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Longhi S, Nijkamp P, Poot J (2005b) The fallacy of “job robbing”: a meta-analysis of estimates of the effect of immigration on employment. J Migr Refugee Issues 1:131–152Google Scholar
  36. Longhi S, Nijkamp P, Poot J (2008) Meta-analysis of empirical evidence on the labour market impact of immigration. Rég et Dév 27:161–191Google Scholar
  37. Longhi S, Nijkamp P, Poot J (2009) Joint impacts of immigration on wages and employment: review and meta-analysis. J Geogr Syst 12(4):355–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Longhi S, Nijkamp P, Poot J (2010) Meta-analyses of labour-market impacts of immigration: key conclusions and policy implications. Environ Plan C Gov Pol 28:819–833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Maignan C, Ottaviano G, Pinelli D, Rullani F (2003) Bio-ecological diversity vs. socio-economic diversity: a comparison of existing measures. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, working paper 13.2003Google Scholar
  40. Münz R, Straubhaar Th, Vadean F, Vadean N (2006) Costs and benefits of European immigration. HWWI Policy Report, No. 3,
  41. North DC (1990) Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Orrenius PM, Nicholson M (2009) Immigrants in the U.S. Economy: a host country perspective. J Bus Strategies 26:35–53Google Scholar
  43. Ottaviano GIP, Peri G (2005) Cities and cultures. J Urban Econ 58:304–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ottaviano GIP, Peri G (2006) The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from U.S. cities. J Econ Geogr 6:9–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ozgen C, Nijkamp P, Poot J (2011) Immigration and innovation in European regions. In: Nijkamp P, Poot J (eds). Migration impact assessment. Edward Elgar (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  46. Partridge M (2010) The duelling models: NEG vs amenity migration in explaining US engines of growth. Pap Reg Sci 89(3):513–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pekkala Kerr S, Kerr WR (2008) Economic impacts of immigration: a survey. HBS working paper 09–013Google Scholar
  48. Putnam RD (2000) Bowling alone: the collapse and revival of American community. Simon & Schuster, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  49. Putnam RD (2007) E Pluribus Unum: diversity and community in the twenty-first century. The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize lecture. Scand Polit Stud 30:137–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Quigley JM (1998) Urban diversity and economic growth. J Econ Perspect 12(2):127–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Roback J (1982) Wages, rents, and the quality of life. J Polit Econ 90(6):1257–1278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Roback J (1988) Wages, rents, and amenities: differences among workers and regions. Econ Inq I 26(1):23–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Saxenian A (2007) Brain circulation and regional innovation: the silicon valley-Hsinchu-Shanghai triangle. In: Polenske K (ed) The economic geography of innovation. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  54. Steinnes DN (1977) Causality and intra-urban location. J Urban Econ 4(1):69–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Steinnes DN (1982) Do ‘people follow jobs’ or do ‘jobs follow people’? A causality issue in urban economics. Urban Stud 19:187–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Strutt A, Poot J, Dubbeldam J (2008) International trade negotiations and the trans-border movement of people: a review of the literature. Population studies centre discussion paper no.68, University of Waikato, HamiltonGoogle Scholar
  57. Suedekum J, Wolf K, Blien U (2009) Cultural diversity and local labour markets. Regional Studies (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  58. Vermeulen W, van Ommeren J (2009) Does land use planning shape regional economies? A simultaneous analysis of housing supply, internal migration and local employment growth in the Netherlands. J Hous Econ 18:294–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. White MJ (1999) Urban areas with decentralized employment: theory and empirical work. In: Cheshire PC, Mills ES (eds) Handbook of regional and urban economics, vol 3. North-Holland, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Spatial EconomicsVU UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations