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A Generalized Index of Fractionalization

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  • BOSSERT, Walter
  • D’AMBROSIO, Conchita
  • LA FERRARA, Eliana

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to contribute to the economic literature on ethnic and cultural diversity by proposing a new index that is informationally richer and more flexible than the commonly used ‘ethno-linguistic fractionalization’ (ELF) index. We characterize a measure of diversity among individuals that takes as a primitive the individuals, as opposed to ethnic groups, and uses information on the extent of similarity among them. Compared to existing indices, our measure does not require that individuals are pre-assigned to exogenously determined categories or groups. We show that our generalized index is a natural extension of ELF and is also simple to compute. We also provide an empirical illustration of how our index can be operationalized and what difference it makes as compared to the standard ELF index. This application pertains to the pattern of fractionalization in the United States.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/2214
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2008-01.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2008-01

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Keywords: Diversity; Similarity; Ethno-Linguistic Fractionalization.;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The political economy of ethnolinguistic cleavages," Working Papers 2009-17, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  2. 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.
  3. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2013. "Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 9638, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "The Political Economy of Linguistic Cleavages," Vives discussion paper series 20, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen, Vives.
  5. Philipp Kolo, 2012. "Measuring a New Aspect of Ethnicity - The Appropriate Diversity Index," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 221, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Miron Tequame, 2010. "HIV, Risky Behavior and Ethno-Linguistic Heterogeneity," Working Papers 1004, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
  7. Mele, Angelo, 2013. "Poisson indices of segregation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 65-85.
  8. Satya Chakravarty & Bhargav Maharaj, 2012. "Ethnic polarization orderings and indices," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 99-123, May.
  9. Nicholas Rohde & Ross Guest, 2013. "Multidimensional Racial Inequality in the United States," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 591-605, November.

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