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A Generalized Index of Fractionalization

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  • WALTER BOSSERT
  • CONCHITA D'AMBROSIO
  • ELIANA LA FERRARA

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to contribute to the economic literature on ethnic and cultural diversity by proposing a new index that is informationally richer and more flexible than the commonly used ‘ethno-linguistic fractionalization’ (ELF) index. We characterize a measure of diversity among individuals that takes as a primitive the individuals, as opposed to ethnic groups, and uses information on the extent of similarity among them. Compared to existing indices, our measure does not require that individuals are pre-assigned to exogenously determined categories or groups. We show that our generalized index is a natural extension of ELF and is also simple to compute. We also provide an empirical illustration of how our index can be operationalized and what difference it makes as compared to the standard ELF index. This application pertains to the pattern of fractionalization in the United States.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2010.00844.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 78 (2011)
Issue (Month): 312 (October)
Pages: 723-750

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:78:y:2011:i:312:p:723-750

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Miron Tequame, 2010. "HIV, Risky Behavior and Ethno-Linguistic Heterogeneity," Working Papers 1004, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
  2. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2013. "Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 149, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  3. Philipp Kolo, 2012. "Measuring a New Aspect of Ethnicity - The Appropriate Diversity Index," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 221, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Political Economy of Ethnolinguistic Cleavages," NBER Working Papers 15360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Angelo, Mele, 2009. "Poisson Indices of Segregation," MPRA Paper 15155, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Satya Chakravarty & Bhargav Maharaj, 2012. "Ethnic polarization orderings and indices," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 99-123, May.
  7. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "The Political Economy of Linguistic Cleavages," Vives discussion paper series 20, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen, Vives.
  8. Nicholas Rohde & Ross Guest, 2013. "Multidimensional Racial Inequality in the United States," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 591-605, November.
  9. Stichnoth, Holger & van der Straeten, Karine, 2009. "Ethnic diversity and attitudes towards redistribution: a review of the literature," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-036, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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