【AEW webinar】Ethnic Mixing in Early Childhood

  • 研討會日期 : 2021-02-25
  • 時間 : 15:00
  • 主講人 : Professor Yves Zenou
  • 地點 : online
  • 演講者簡介 : Professor Zenou received his Ph.D. in Economics from University Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2) in 1998. He is currently a professor of economics and holds the Richard Snape Chair in Business and Economics at Monash University. His research interests are social interactions and network theory, urban economics, segregation and discrimination of ethnic minorities, criminality and education.
  • 演講摘要 : The social integration of minority groups is a major policy challenge for many countries. This paper addresses this issue in the context of an early childhood program conducted in Turkey aimed at preparing 5-year-old native and Syrian refugee children for elementary school. We randomly assign children to groups with varying ethnic composition and examine whether random exposure to non-coethnic children over a period of 2 months affects interethnic friendship formation and language acquisition. We find that exposure to children of the other ethnicity leads to an increase in the formation of interethnic friendships, especially for Turkish children, while the Turkish language skills of Syrian children are better developed in classes with a larger presence of Turkish children. To explain the empirical patterns, we develop a model of friendship formation with two key mechanisms: preference bias for forming coethnic links, and congestion in the friendship formation process. Structural estimation of the model suggests that interethnic contact: (i) reduces the share of own-ethnicity friends, and (ii) has a non-monotonic effect on the bias toward forming own-ethnicity friendships beyond what would be expected given the size of the group (inbreeding homophily). The latter finding implies that increased exposure of minority children to non-coethnic children can lead to more in-group bias in friendship formation, relative to when the two ethnic shares are more balanced. Finally, counterfactual analysis indicates that improvement in the language skills of Syrian children can offset more than half of the effect that ethnic bias has on friendship formation patterns.