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The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity

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  • Stelios Michalopoulos

Abstract

This study explores the determinants of ethnolinguistic diversity within as well as across countries, shedding light on its geographic origins. The empirical analysis conducted across countries, virtual countries, and pairs of contiguous regions establishes that geographic variability, captured by variation in regional land quality and elevation, is a fundamental determinant of contemporary linguistic diversity. The findings are consistent with the proposed hypothesis that differences in land endowments gave rise to location-specific human capital, leading to the formation of localized ethnicities. (JEL J15, J24, Z13)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.4.1508
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
Pages: 1508-39

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:4:p:1508-39

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  1. Diego Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2006. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?," NBER Working Papers 12657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Oded Galor & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2011. "Evolution and the Growth Process: Natural Selection of Entrepreneurial Traits," NBER Working Papers 17075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529, May.
  7. Oded Galor & Quamrul Ashraf, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," Working Papers 2008-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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  9. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "The Roots of Ethnic Diversity," Working Papers in Economics 281, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  10. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  11. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
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