Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The political economy of ethnicity

Contents:

Author Info

  • Paul Collier
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The paper investigates the effects of ethnic diversity on economic performance and the risk of violent conflict. Diversity has various detrimental microeconomic effects, tending to reduce public sector performance, increase patronage, and lower the level of trust among individuals. However, whether diversity adversely affects overall economic growth depends upon the political environment. Diversity is highly damaging to growth in the context of limited political rights, but is not damaging in democracies. The same relationship holds for the satisfactory performance of World Bank projects: in diverse societies, the risk of project failure is nearly doubled by the absence of political rights. There is a relationship between ethnic diversity and the risk of violent conflict, but it is non-monotonic. Those societies most at risk are the ones in the middle of the range of ethnic diversity. Highly diverse societies, such as are typical of Africa, are actually even safer than homogenous societies. A democratic Africa can thus reap the benefits which ethnic diversity provides in terms of a reduced risk of violence, while avoiding the potential costs of reduced growth. Both income levels and political rights are also important influences on the risk of violent conflict, and of its escalation into full civil war. Once a society has reached full scale civil war the balance of influences appears to change. The persistence of conflict, and the sustainability of a settlement, are more dependent upon ethnic composition and less dependent upon income and political rights, than are the initiation and escalation of violence. Hence, some peace settlements may need to change borders so as to increase (or reduce) the ethnic diversity of the state.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/9808text.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 1998-08.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 1998
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:1998-08

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
    Phone: +44-(0)1865 271084
    Fax: +44-(0)1865 281447
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Aron, Janine, 2002. "Building Institutions in Post-Conflict African Economies," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Bohn, Frank, 2007. "Polarisation, uncertainty and public investment failure," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1077-1087, December.
    3. Daniel Kim & Christopher F Baum & Michael Ganz & S.V. Subramanian & Ichiro Kawachi, 2011. "The contextual effects of social capital on health: a cross-national instrumental variable analysis," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 786, Boston College Department of Economics.
    4. Bodea, Cristina & Elbadawi, Ibrahim A., 2008. "Political violence and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4692, The World Bank.
    5. Esfahani, Hadi Salehi & Ramirez, Maria Teresa, 2003. "Institutions, infrastructure, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 443-477, April.
    6. Kim, Kwang-ho, 2007. "Favoritism and reverse discrimination," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 101-123, January.
    7. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2001. "Education, Social Cohesion and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2773, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Seth Norton, 2000. "The Cost of Diversity: Endogenous Property Rights and Growth," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 319-337, December.
    9. Dana Schüler & Julian Weisbrod, 2010. "Ethnic fractionalisation, migration and growth," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 457-486, October.
    10. Ranis, Gustav, 2010. "Diversity of Communities and Economic Development: An Overview," Working Papers 6, JICA Research Institute.
    11. Leonardo A. Gatica Arreola, 2012. "¿Por qué el distanciamiento ideológico disminuye la provisión de bienes públicos?; una explicación basada en el empleo clientelar," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 39(1 Year 20), pages 27-51, June.
    12. Englebert, Pierre, 2000. "Solving the Mystery of the AFRICA Dummy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1821-1835, October.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:1998-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Payne).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.