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The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Theory and Evidence

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  • Michalopoulos, Stelios

Abstract

This research examines theoretically and empirically the economic origins of ethnolinguistic diversity. The empirical analysis constructs detailed data on the distribution of land quality and elevation across contiguous regions, virtual and real countries, and shows that variation in elevation and land quality has contributed �significantly to the emergence and persistence of ethnic fractionalization. The empirical and historical evidence support the theoretical analysis, according to which heterogeneous land endowments generated region specific� human capital, limiting population mobility and leading to the formation of localized ethnicities and languages. The research contributes to the understanding of the emergence of ethnicities and their spatial distribution and offers a distinction between the natural, geographically driven, versus the artificial, man-made, components of contemporary ethnic diversity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11531.

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Date of creation: 19 Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11531

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Keywords: Ethnic Diversity; Geography; Technological Progress; Human Capital; Colonization;

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References

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  1. Louis Putterman & Valerie Bockstette, 2000. "States and Markets:the Advantage of an Early Start," Working Papers 2000-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
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  4. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2006. "Poverty Traps, Distance, and Diversity: The Migration Connection," NBER Working Papers 12549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, 2006. "From Farmers to Merchants, Voluntary Conversion and Diaspora: A Human Capital Interpretation of Jewish History," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 2, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  6. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-17, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  7. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
  8. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2006. "The Diffusion of Development," NBER Working Papers 12153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Quamrul Ashraf & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2010. "The Climatic Origins of the Neolithic Revolution: Theory and Evidence," Center for Development Economics 2010-10, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  10. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEP Discussion Papers dp0732, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Curtin,Philip D., 1984. "Cross-Cultural Trade in World History," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521269315, October.
  12. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2008. "On the Salience of Ethnic Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2185-2202, December.
  13. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "The Roots of Ethnic Diversity," Working Papers in Economics 281, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Durante, Ruben, 2009. "Risk, Cooperation and the Economic Origins of Social Trust: an Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 25887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Mesbah J. Motamed & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & William A. Masters, 2014. "Agriculture, Transportation and the Timing of Urbanization: Global Analysis at the Grid Cell Level," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-002/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2003-41, August.
  4. Philipp Kolo, 2011. "Questioning Ethnic Fragmentation's Exogeneity - Drivers of Changing Ethnic Boundaries," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 210, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iatsh0to2 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Motamed, Mesbah J. & Florax, Raymond J.G.M. & Masters, William J., 2009. "Geography and Economic Transition: Global Spatial Analysis at the Grid Cell Level," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49589, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. Charles J. Cook, . "The Role of Lactose Tolerance in Pre-Colonial Development," Departmental Working Papers 2011-12, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  8. Guerriero, C., 2009. "Democracy, Judicial Attitudes and Heterogeneity: The Civil Versus Common Law Tradition," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0917, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. Patricia Beeson & Lara Shore-Sheppard & Tara Watson, 2010. "Local Fiscal Policies and Urban Wage Structures," Public Finance Review, , vol. 38(5), pages 540-584, September.
  10. Casey, Gregory P. & Owen, Ann L., 2014. "Inequality and Fractionalization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 32-50.

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