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On the theory of ethnic conflict

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  • Francesco Caselli
  • Wilbur John Coleman II
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    Abstract

    We present a theory of ethnic conflict in which coalitions formed along ethnic lines compete for the economy’s resources. The role of ethnicity is to enforce coalition membership: in ethnically homogeneous societies members of the losing coalition can defect to the winners at low cost, and this rules out conflict as an equilibrium outcome. We derive a number of implications of the model relating social, political, and economic indicators such as the incidence of conflict, the distance among ethnic groups, group sizes, income inequality, and expropriable resources.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/3561/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 3561.

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    Length: 37 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3561

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    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/
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    Related research

    Keywords: ethnic distance; exploitation;

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    References

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1095-1131, August.
    3. McDermott, John, 1997. " Exploitation and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 251-78, September.
    4. Jean-Paul Azam, 2001. "The redistributive state and conflicts in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2001-03, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    6. Grossman, Herschel I. & Mendoza, Juan, 2003. "Scarcity and appropriative competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 747-758, November.
    7. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Fearon, James D. & Laitin, David D., 2000. "Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(04), pages 845-877, September.
    9. repec:fth:oxesaf:2001-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
    11. Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "The Political Economy of Hatred," NBER Working Papers 9171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 10313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
    14. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    15. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
    16. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Cemal Eren Arbatli & Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The Nature of Civil Conflict," Working Papers 2013-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    2. Smeets, Valérie & Ierulli, Kathryn & Gibbs, Michael, 2006. "Mergers of Equals & Unequals," Working Papers 06-8, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    3. Rohner, D., 2006. "Information, Reputation and Ethnic Conflict," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0658, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Debraj Ray, 2010. "Uneven Growth: A Framework for Research in Development Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 45-60, Summer.
    5. Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Reputation, Group Structure and Social Tensions," HiCN Working Papers 40, Households in Conflict Network.

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