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How to make a tragedy: on the alleged effect of ethnicity on growth

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Author Info

  • Jean-Louis Arcand

    (CERDI-CNRS, Université d'Auvergne, and CRDE, Université de Montréal, Canada)

  • Patrick Guillaumont

    (CERDI-CNRS, Université d'Auvergne, France)

  • Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney

    (CERDI-CNRS, Université d'Auvergne, France)

Abstract

This paper questions the line of reasoning followed by several authors, notably Easterly and Levine according to which ethno-linguistic fragmentation, because it leads to poor policies, is the main factor explaining the 'tragedy' of low African growth. A first set of criticism concerns the model itself and stresses that current empirical work is unable to convincingly identify the channels through which ethnic fragmentation affects growth: (i) polarization may be more relevant than fragmentation, (ii) the various tests of the effect of ethnicity on the quality of policy are far from being conclusive. A second set of remarks concerns the relevance of these studies to Africa: the African sub-sample is often quite limited, and the relationship is unstable (according to Chow tests). It actually appears that ethnicity has a more important effect on growth in Africa than elsewhere. This still needs to be explained and is not as such an explanation for lower African growth. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 12 (2000)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 925-938

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:12:y:2000:i:7:p:925-938

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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References

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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. Jean-Louis ARCAND & Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY, 1999. "Ethnicity, Communication and Growth," Working Papers 199901, CERDI.
  2. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
  3. Temple, Jonathan, 1998. "Initial Conditions, Social Capital and Growth in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(3), pages 309-47, October.
  4. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1996. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Papers 545, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  5. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  6. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  7. Guillaumont, Patrick & Jeanneney, Sylviane Guillaumont & Brun, Jean-Francois, 1999. "How Instability Lowers African Growth," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(1), pages 87-107, March.
  8. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  9. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Trade Policy and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," NBER Working Papers 6562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kelly LABART, 2010. "What is hidden behind the indicators of ethnolinguistic fragmentation?," Working Papers I07, FERDI.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Giovanni Prarolo & Elena Bellini & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Dino Pinelli, 2009. "Cultural Diversity and Economic Performance: Evidence from European Regions," Working Papers 2009.63, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Benjamin Bridgman, . "Why Are Ethnically Divided Countries Poor?," Departmental Working Papers 2003-11, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  6. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "The Roots of Ethnic Diversity," Working Papers in Economics 281, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Campos, Nauro F & Kuzeyev, Vitaliy S., 2007. "On the Dynamics of Ethnic Fractionalization," IZA Discussion Papers 2822, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Valsecchi, Michele, 2010. "Ethnic diversity, economic performance and civil wars," Working Papers in Economics 433, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  9. Eris, Mehmet, 2010. "Population heterogeneity and growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1211-1222, September.
  10. Dirk Dohse & Robert Gold, 2013. "Measuring Cultural Diversity at a Regional Level," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 10, WWWforEurope.
  11. Max Köhler & Stefan Sperlich & Julian Vortmeyer, 2011. "The Africa-Dummy in Growth Regressions," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 94, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  12. Kelly LABART, 2010. "What is hidden behind the indicators of ethnolinguistic fragmentation?," Working Papers I07, FERDI.
  13. 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.
  14. Jaimovich, Dany, 2011. "Macrostructure and microstructure: Evidence from overlapping village networks in The Gambia," MPRA Paper 38932, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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