Is there a market for diversity?

Truck and Barter wonders about the economic dimension of the Grutter decision- specifically, what are the costs and benefits of diversity, and why is it necessary for government to get involved in its provision?

But through Affirmative Action we seem to assume that if students are not part of integrated schools, they will not pursue diversity outside of school. That may be very true. But if there are enormous benefits to diversifing one's students and employees, friends and associates, why do we need public universities to do this for us?


But how did we get to valuing--wanting or needing or whatevering--diversity? Is diversity a final consumption good, or an intermediate good? If intermediate, how do we know diversity can get us what we really want? Are the perceived social and economic benefits of diversity actually forecasted returns on current investment?

Just exactly how much do *we* (whoever that is) value diversity? What are the costs and benefits of specific individuals consuming (or investing in) more--or less--of it? We always hear about the benefits of diversity, but what about its costs? Many speak of diversity as if only the government could provide it (even though I don't think there is a clear demonstrated case that current markets undersupply diversity.)

I'm curious what the rest of the Catallarchists think about this. Is diversity a good that people seek out? What is the value of diversity to most people? Don't some major cities serve as the suppliers of diversity for those who seek it?

And what are the social costs to providing diversity against the will of folk? It's not as though the individuals who benefit from AA at top-flight schools can't get into school anywhere else, so it's not really a case of "AA or no education", or even necessarily "AA or a bad education."

Something to think about.

Share this

I'm curious what the rest of

I'm curious what the rest of the Catallarchists think about this. Is diversity a good that people seek out?

If by diversity, you mean racial diversity in and of itself, no I don't seek it out, and I don't value it. If however, you mean cultural diversity, I think that there is a happy medium between having a monotonous group of friends/coworkers and having people you can't relate to at all.

All of us have different preferences for the amount of diversity we seek out. It is an individual end, and should not be imposed on society with a one-size-fits-all solution.

I'm curious what the rest of

I'm curious what the rest of the Catallarchists think about this. Is diversity a good that people seek out?

In looking for the best to help with our plans and actions, then yes, diversity is a good that many people seek out and will pay for. It is often better to look all over the world for the best engineers than to only look in the local area for example.

In looking to make sure that there is some pre-determined percentage of certain skin colors or ancestral heritage then no. In fact this imposes additional costs.

as a non-Catallarchist, it

as a non-Catallarchist, it is more of a social benefit to me. I love sushi, whiskey, and kung fu movies.

economically it may be difficult to prove it is profitable but I think it may be more difficult to prove it is unprofitable.

as far as Affirmative Action is concerned, if we have to have it, I would prefer it to be based on financial background rather than race. There is no reason Michael Jordan's kids need help getting into college.

The point of using

The point of using aggression to get diversity into a place is that people don't really value it economically or any other way. Imagine a subdivision that was advertised as the 'most inclusive' or a club that called itself most undiscriminating or a college that said we never turn anyone away. But the officials pretend that they can create value by forcing people to act as if they valued what they don't value. Yet all this accomplishes is a heightening of racial and other conflicts, which then would seem likely to be the objective of the enforcers of diversity value. Let us have a pro-ability society, and stop fantasizing that aggression can create anything worthwhile.