Economic Resources of Ethnocultural Diversity

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-11-35-46

I. Tsapenko, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. Global migration radically increases the number of foreign born and their descendents, as well as birthplace, linguistic, ethnic and confessional diversity of the population in more developed regions of the world. Such cultural heterogeneity is being translated into a motley mosaic of cultural identities changing in the course of intercultural contacts through the lifespan and with succeeding generations. The economic effects of immigration cannot be comprehensively explained as part of traditional economic theory without taking into account the factor of culture and its economic resources. On the one hand, the economy of diversity is based on cultural capital which presupposes cultural predisposition of certain diasporas representatives to business activities, and on resources of economic agents belonging to the same culture. On the other hand, such effects are generated by usage of special assets of cultural multiplicity being formed through interaction of cognitions, values, norms and practices referring to different cultures and influencing economic preferences, choices and other forms of economic behavior. Multicultural composition of a receiving society is being reproduced in multiplicity of “ethnic economies” on the back of the “big economy”, as well as in joint economic activities of descendents from different states and civilization areas implementing complementarities between competences relevant to different types of mentalities. The usage of such resources makes local economies more balanced, contributes to increase in productivity, innovation and foreign trade, making development more dynamic, competitive and sustainable. At the same time, cultural diversity may generate economic losses due to ethno-linguistic fragmentation of receiving societies and conflicts within them. Adequate immigration policies, in particular, an efficient governance of cultural diversity, successful migrant integration outcomes and collaborative intercultural relations are crucial for making the benefits of diversity overweight the risks of ethno-cultural fragmentation in receiving societies.

Keywords: immigration, diversity, multiculturalism, ethnic economies, ethnocultural resources, complementarities between competences, innovations, international economic relations, economic growth, integration 


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For citation:
Tsapenko I. Economic Resources of Ethnocultural Diversity. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2016, vol. 60, no. 11, pp. 35-46.

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