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The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Theory and Evidence

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  • Stelios Michalopoulos

Abstract

This research examines theoretically and empirically the economic origins of ethnolinguistic diversity. The empirical analysis constructs detailed data on the distribution of land qualtiy 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 heterogenous land endowments generated region specific human capital, liminting population mobility and leading to the formation of localized ethnicities and languages. The research contributes to the understanding of the emergence of 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, georgraphically driven, versus the artificial, man-made, components of contemporary ethnic diversity.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/research/documents/2008/michalopoulosOrigins.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0725.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0725

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Related research

Keywords: Ethnic Diversity; Geography; Technological Process; Human Capital; Colonization.;

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  1. Quamrul Ashraf & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2010. "The Climatic Origins of the Neolithic Revolution: Theory and Evidence," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-02, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Feb 2011.
  2. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEP Discussion Papers dp0732, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2006. "Poverty Traps, Distance and Diversity: The Migration Connection," CEPR Discussion Papers 5891, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2006. "From Farmers to Merchants, Voluntary Conversions and Diaspora: A Human Capital Interpretation of Jewish History," CEPR Discussion Papers 5571, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Curtin,Philip D., 1984. "Cross-Cultural Trade in World History," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521269315, October.
  7. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. " States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-69, December.
  8. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529, May.
  9. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2008. "On the Salience of Ethnic Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2185-2202, December.
  10. Pelle Ahlerup & Ola Olsson, 2012. "The roots of ethnic diversity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 71-102, June.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Ruben Durante, 2010. "Risk, Cooperation and the Economic origins of social Trust: an empirical Investigation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.
  3. Patricia Beeson & Tara Watson & Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Local Fiscal Policies and Urban Wage Structures," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  4. Casey, Gregory P. & Owen, Ann L., 2010. "Inequality and fractionalization," MPRA Paper 25493, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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.
  6. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2010. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-01, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jul 2010.
  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. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iatsh0to2 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. 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.

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