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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. Jean-Louis Arcand & Patrick Guillaumont & Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney, 2000. "Ethnicity, communication and growth," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-20, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-76, October.
  3. Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY & Jean-François BRUN, 1997. "How Instability Lowers African Growth ?," Working Papers 199712, CERDI.
  4. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  5. 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.
  6. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Trade Policy and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," NBER Working Papers 6562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  9. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Kanbur, Ravi & Rajaram, Prem Kumar & Varshney, Ashutosh, 2010. "Ethnic Diversity and Ethnic Strife: An Interdisciplinary Perspective," Working Papers 57039, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Campos, Nauro F & Kuzeyev, Vitaliy, 2007. "On the Dynamics of Ethnic Fractionalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 6360, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Valsecchi, Michele, 2010. "Ethnic diversity, economic performance and civil wars," Working Papers in Economics 433, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  6. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "The Roots of Ethnic Diversity," Working Papers in Economics 281, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Dirk Dohse & Robert Gold, 2013. "Measuring Cultural Diversity at a Regional Level," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 10, WWWforEurope.
  8. 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.
  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.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Development Working Papers 193, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  11. Jaimovich, Dany, 2011. "Macrostructure and microstructure: Evidence from overlapping village networks in The Gambia," MPRA Paper 38932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Mwangi wa Githinji, 2012. "Erasing Class/ (re)Creating Ethnicity: Jobs, Politics, Accumulation and Identity in Kenya," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2012-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  13. Kelly LABART, 2010. "What is hidden behind the indicators of ethnolinguistic fragmentation?," Working Papers I07, FERDI.
  14. Benjamin Bridgman, . "Why Are Ethnically Divided Countries Poor?," Departmental Working Papers 2003-11, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  15. Eris, Mehmet, 2010. "Population heterogeneity and growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1211-1222, September.
  16. Kelly LABART, 2010. "What is hidden behind the indicators of ethnolinguistic fragmentation?," Working Papers I07, FERDI.

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