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

Why ethnic fractionalization? Polarization, ethnic conflict and growth

Contents:

Author Info

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This paper ia an attempt to clarify the relationship between fractionalization, polarization and conflict. The literature on the measurement of ethnic diversity has taken as given that the proper measure for heterogeneity can be calculated by using the fractionalization index. This index is widely used in industrial economics and, for empirical purposes, the ethnolinguistic fragmentation is ready available for regression exercises. Nevertheless the adequacy of a synthetic index of hetergeneity depends on the intrinsic characteristics of the heterogeneous dimension to be measured. In the case of ethnic diversity there is a very strong conflictive dimension. For this reason we argue that the measure of heterogeneity should be one of the class of polarization measures. In fact the intuition of the relationship between conflict and fractionalization do not hold for more than two groups. In contrast with the usual problem of polarization indices, which are of difficult empirical implementation without making some arbitrary choice of parameters, we show that the RQ index, proposed by Reynal-Querol (2002), is the only discrete polarization measure that satisfies the basic properties of polarization. Additionally we present a derivation of the RQ index from a simple rent seeking model. In the empirical section we show that while ethnic polarization has a positive effect on civil wars and, indirectly on growth, this effect is not present when we use ethnic fractionalization.

    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.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/660.pdf
    File Function: Whole Paper
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 660.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: Feb 2002
    Date of revision: Sep 2002
    Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:660

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

    Related research

    Keywords: Ethnic heterogeneity; civil wars; economic developement;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Bluedorn, John C., 2001. "Can democracy help? Growth and ethnic divisions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 121-126, January.
    4. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
    10. Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    11. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, December.
    13. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    14. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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

    Cited by:
    This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

    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:upf:upfgen:660. 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: ().

    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.