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The roots of ethnic diversity

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  • Pelle Ahlerup

    ()

  • Ola Olsson

    ()

Abstract

The level of ethnic diversity is believed to have significant consequences for economic and political development within countries. In this article, we provide a theoretical and empirical analysis of the determinants of ethnic diversity in the world. We introduce a model of cultural and ge- netic drift where new ethnic groups endogenously emerge among periph- eral populations as a response to an insufficient supply of public goods. In line with our model, we find that the duration of human settlements has a strong positive association with ethnic diversity. Ethnic diversity decreases with the length of modern state experience and with distance from the equator. Both "primordial" and "constructivist" hypotheses of ethnic fractionalization thus receive some support by our analysis.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10887-011-9075-0
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economic Growth.

Volume (Year): 17 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 71-102

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:17:y:2012:i:2:p:71-102

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102931

Related research

Keywords: Ethnic diversity; Ethnicity; Human origins; N40; N50; Z10;

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References

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  1. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs Jr., Douglas A., 2000. "Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development," Working Papers in Economics 26, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 11 Aug 2000.
  2. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2009. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 110, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hansen, Casper Worm, 2011. "The diffusion of health technologies: Cultural and biological divergence," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 6/2011, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
  2. Valsecchi, Michele, 2010. "Ethnic diversity, economic performance and civil wars," Working Papers in Economics 433, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Timothy Besley and Marta Reynal-Querol, 2013. "The Legacy of Historical Conflict Evidence from Africa," Working Papers 312, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  4. Michalopoulos, Stelios, 2008. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Theory and Evidence," MPRA Paper 11531, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. James B. Ang, 2013. "Are modern financial systems shaped by state antiquity?," Monash Economics Working Papers 38-13, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  6. Guerriero, C., 2009. "Democracy, Judicial Attitudes and Heterogeneity: The Civil Versus Common Law Tradition," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0917, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Philipp Kolo, 2011. "Questioning Ethnic Fragmentation's Exogeneity - Drivers of Changing Ethnic Boundaries," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 210, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Wahl, Fabian, 2013. "Does medieval trade still matter? Historical trade centers, agglomeration and contemporary economic development," FZID Discussion Papers 82-2013, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  9. Casey, Gregory P. & Owen, Ann L., 2010. "Inequality and fractionalization," MPRA Paper 25493, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Wahl, Fabian, 2012. "Why it matters what people think: Beliefs, legal origins and the deep roots of trust," FZID Discussion Papers 52-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  11. Margherita Bottero & Björn Wallace, 2013. "Is There a Long-Term Effect of Africa's Slave Trades?," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 30, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  12. Ahlerup, Pelle & Hansson, Gustav, 2011. "Nationalism and government effectiveness," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 431-451, September.
  13. Ahlerup, Pelle, 2009. "The Causal Effects of Ethnic Diversity: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Working Papers in Economics 386, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  14. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2012. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1508-39, June.
  15. 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.

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