Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Diversity harms productivity

A reader recommends this podcast:
Garett Jones returns to the podcast to discuss the issue of ethnic diversity. There is a wide body of research showing that ethnic diversity can reduce the productivity of teams, firms, and even whole countries. ...

Williams and O’Reilly (1996)
review dozens of studies showing that ethnic diversity has a negative impact on group performance. In the two decades since, more research has reinforced that result. Alesina and La Ferrara (2005) find that increasing ethnic diversity from 0 (only one ethnic group) to 1 (each individual is a different ethnicity) would reduce a country’s annual growth by 2 percent. Multiple studies (La Porta et al., 1999; Alesina et al., 2003; Habyarimana et al., 2007) have shown that ethnic diversity negatively affects public good provision. Stazyk et al. (2012) find that ethnic diversity reduces job satisfaction among government workers. Parrotta et al. (2014a) find that ethnic diversity is significantly and negatively correlated with firm productivity. ...

Given that diversity is so costly for organizations, there is a huge industry dedicated to diversity training to mitigate these effects. However, a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review argues that diversity training seems to be a general failure.
These studies are new, but I think that the main ideas were known in ancient times. Most of those arguing for the benefits of diversity today are just lying to you.

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