G. Bulczak

University of Gdansk (POLAND)
The investigation used the Add Health data set to examine the association between communities’ composition with respect to race and participation in extracurricular school activities in secondary education. Results of this analysis show that the composition of adolescents’ communities matters for individuals’ participation outcomes in extracurricular school activities. The results find further support in previous research connecting community heterogeneity to reduced propensity to participate in social activities including education (Alesina and La Ferrara 2000). The findings support the previously discussed argument that the effect of composition is stronger in groups or activities where interaction between individuals is likely to be more frequent. This is also in line with the idea that individuals have a preference to interact with similar types (Jackson 2009). This research opens many avenues for further research. Of particular interest would be to examine the role of frequency or the intensity of interactions in determining participation decisions.
In this paper the role of communities' racial composition in determining participation outcomes is examined. Adolescents' participation is likely to influence network formation and to have a positive impact on other outcomes linked to human capital, development of social skills and social capital. This research provides evidence suggesting that racial composition of communities affects adolescents’ participation in school extracurricular activities. This research carefully addresses problems related to sorting within communities and selection into schools.