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How To Make A Tragedy: On The Alleged Effect Of Ethnicity On Growth

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  • Jean-Louis ARCAND

    ()
    (Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement)

  • Patrick GUILLAUMONT

    ()
    (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International)

  • Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY

    ()
    (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International)

Abstract

This paper questions the line of reasoning followed by several authors, notably Easterly and Levine (1997), according to which ethno-linguistic fragmentation, mainly because it leads to poor policies, is an handicap to growth. A first set of criticisms concerns the model itself: (i) polarization may be more relevant than fragmentation, (ii) the coefficients associated with macro-policy variables are not reduced when ethnic variables are introduced, even with an homogeneous sample; (iii) several other 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: (i) the Africa dummy is generally insensitive to the inclusion of ethnic fragmentation; (ii) the African sub-sample is quite limited (nine out of forty observations, on average), and the relationship is unstable (according to Chow tests). Current empirical work is unable to convincingly identify the channels through which ethnic fragmentation affects growth. Moreover, there appears to be no robust evidence indicating that the effect of ethnic fragmentation on growth operates through its impact on policy choices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CERDI in its series Working Papers with number 199903.

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Length: 13
Date of creation: 1999
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Publication status: Published in Journal of International Development, Octobre 2000, pages 925-938
Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:102

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  1. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1996. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Papers, Harvard - Institute for International Development 545, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  2. Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY & Jean-François BRUN, 1998. "How Instability Lowers African Growth," Working Papers, CERDI 199806, CERDI.
  3. Jean-Louis ARCAND & Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY, 1998. "Ethnicity, Communication and Growth," Working Papers, CERDI 199810, CERDI.
  4. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  5. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Trade Policy and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," NBER Working Papers 6562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  7. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers, Harvard - Institute for International Development 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  8. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
  9. Temple, Jonathan, 1998. "Initial Conditions, Social Capital and Growth in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(3), pages 309-47, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Kanbur, Ravi & Rajaram, Prem Kumar & Varshney, Ashutosh, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity and Ethnic Strife. An Interdisciplinary Perspective," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 147-158, February.
  2. Campos, Nauro F & Kuzeyev, Vitaliy S., 2007. "On the Dynamics of Ethnic Fractionalization," IZA Discussion Papers 2822, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Kelly LABART, 2010. "What is hidden behind the indicators of ethnolinguistic fragmentation?," Working Papers, FERDI I07, FERDI.
  4. Kelly LABART, 2010. "What is hidden behind the indicators of ethnolinguistic fragmentation?," Working Papers, FERDI I07, FERDI.
  5. Giovanni Prarolo & Elena Bellini & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Dino Pinelli, 2009. "Cultural Diversity and Economic Performance: Evidence from European Regions," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2009.63, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. Dirk Dohse & Robert Gold, 2013. "Measuring Cultural Diversity at a Regional Level," WWWforEurope Working Papers series, WWWforEurope 10, WWWforEurope.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Jaimovich, Dany, 2011. "Macrostructure and microstructure: Evidence from overlapping village networks in The Gambia," MPRA Paper 38932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Mwangi wa Githinji, 2012. "Erasing Class/ (re)Creating Ethnicity: Jobs, Politics, Accumulation and Identity in Kenya," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics 2012-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  10. Pelle Ahlerup & Ola Olsson, 2012. "The roots of ethnic diversity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 71-102, June.
  11. Max Köhler & Stefan Sperlich & Julian Vortmeyer, 2011. "The Africa-Dummy in Growth Regressions," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers, Courant Research Centre PEG 94, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  12. Valsecchi, Michele, 2010. "Ethnic diversity, economic performance and civil wars," Working Papers in Economics, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics 433, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  13. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2008. "Why are ethnically divided countries poor?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-18, March.
  14. Eris, Mehmet, 2010. "Population heterogeneity and growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1211-1222, September.
  15. Stichnoth, Holger & van der Straeten, Karine, 2009. "Ethnic diversity and attitudes towards redistribution: a review of the literature," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 09-036, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  16. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.

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