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Ethnicity, Capital Formation, and Conflict

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  • Robert H. Bates

Abstract

Ethnicity plays an ambiguous role in the great transformation. On the one hand, ethnicity creates: by providing incentives that organize the flow of resources across generations, it provides the capital for urban migration and the acquisition of skills for industrial employment. On the other hand, ethnicity destroys: ethnic conflict leads to costly acts of violence. Using data drawn largely from Africa, this paper explores the two faces of ethnicity. In so doing, it finds that the presumed link between ethnicity and violence is more complex and less threatening than most assume. Those who claim a straightforward link are making an elementary error in the reading of tabular data. Keywords: Africa, ethnicity, modernization, social capital, violence, investment

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for International Development at Harvard University in its series CID Working Papers with number 27.

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Date of creation: Oct 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:27

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  1. 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.
  2. Gian S. Sahota, 1968. "An Economic Analysis of Internal Migration in Brazil," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 218.
  3. Richard A. Posner, 1979. "A Theory of Primitive Society with Special Reference to Law," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 7, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  5. Binswanger, Hans P & McIntire, John, 1987. "Behavioral and Material Determinants of Production Relations in Land-Abundant Tropical Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 73-99, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Abdiweli Ali & Hodan Isse, 2006. "An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of Foreign Aid: A Panel Approach," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 241-250, May.
  2. Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2003. "Ethnic discrimination and the migration of skilled labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 159-172, February.
  3. David Dreyer Lassen & Helene Bie Lilleør, 2008. "Informal Institutions and Intergenerational Contracts: Evidence from Schooling and Remittances in Rural Tanzania," CAM Working Papers 2008-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  4. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 62-99, April.
  5. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2011. "A Model Of Ethnic Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 496-521, 06.
  6. Krishna, Anirudh, 2003. "Understanding, measuring and utilizing social capital: clarifying concepts and presenting a field application from India," CAPRi working papers 28, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Nicholas Sambanis, 2002. "A Review of Recent Advances and Future Directions in the Quantitative Literature on Civil War," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 215-243.
  8. Rohner, Dominic, 2011. "Reputation, group structure and social tensions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 188-199, November.
  9. Laia Balcells, 2008. "Rivalry and Revenge: Making Sense of Violence against Civilians in Conventional Civil Wars," HiCN Working Papers 51, Households in Conflict Network.
  10. Abdiweli Ali & Hodan Isse, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of the Effect of Aid on Growth," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 1-11, March.
  11. Chigunta, Francis & Schnurr, Jamie & James-Wilson, David & Torres, Veronica, 2005. "Being "real" about youth entrepreneurship in Eastern and Southern Africa : implications for adults, institutions and sector structures," ILO Working Papers 378652, International Labour Organization.
  12. Bruck, Tilman & Schindler, Kati, 2008. "The Impact of Conflict and Fragility on Households: A Conceptual Framework with Reference to Widows," Working Paper Series RP2008/83, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  13. Bodea, Cristina & Elbadawi, Ibrahim A., 2008. "Political violence and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4692, The World Bank.

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