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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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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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ahlerup, Pelle & Hansson, Gustav, 2008. "Nationalism and Government Effectiveness," Working Papers in Economics 313, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. 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).
  3. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2011. "The Origins of Technolinguistic Diversity," Economics Working Papers 0095, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  4. 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.
  5. Hansen, Casper Worm, 2013. "The diffusion of health technologies: Cultural and biological divergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 21-34.
  6. Casey, Gregory P. & Owen, Ann L., 2014. "Inequality and Fractionalization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 32-50.
  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. Valsecchi, Michele, 2010. "Ethnic diversity, economic performance and civil wars," Working Papers in Economics 433, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  9. Ang, James B., 2013. "Are modern financial systems shaped by state antiquity?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4038-4058.
  10. 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.
  11. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2008. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0725, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  12. 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.
  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. 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).
  15. Besley, Timothy J. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2012. "The Legacy of Historical Conflict: Evidence from Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8850, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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