Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2017

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Economics




Dr. Alan Gin


This paper examines the effect of diversity, measured by the dissimilarity index, on the economic strength of an area. Economic strength is measured using five economic indicators: median home value, median income, median gross rent, percentage of people with health insurance, and firms per capita. The work aims to show that there is a positive economic impact due to integrating and creating communities that are more diverse. Previous work shows there is a positive impact of diversity on economic indicators such as wages, rents, and production but previous studies do not look at the effect on these economic indicators. This study looks at 1,246 cities across the United States and the District of Columbia in 2015 and measures the effect of diversity on economic strength using an ordinary least squares (OLS) regression. The paper finds that there are varying degrees of significance depending on the economic indicator and racial group.