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Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

We provide a new compilation of data on ethnic, linguistic, and religious composition at the subnational level for a large number of countries. Using these data, we measure segregation of groups within the country. To overcome the endogeneity problem that arises because of mobility and endogenous internal borders, we construct an instrument for segregation. We find that more ethnically and linguistically segregated countries, i.e., those where groups live more spatially separately, have a lower quality of government; there is no relationship between religious segregation and governance. Trust is an important channel of influence; it is lower in more segregated countries. (JEL H11, H77, J15, O17, Z12, Z13)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (August)
Pages: 1872-1911

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:5:p:1872-1911
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  1. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Development Working Papers 193, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  3. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529, May.
  4. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950, August.
  5. Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  6. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  7. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Working Papers 9902, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  10. La Ferrara, Eliana & Mele, Angelo, 2006. "Racial Segregation and Public School Expenditure," CEPR Discussion Papers 5750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  12. Cutler, David M. & Glaeser, Edward L. & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2008. "When are ghettos bad? Lessons from immigrant segregation in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 759-774, May.
  13. William Easterly & Alberto Alesina & Janina Matuszeski, 2006. "Artificial States," Working Papers 100, Center for Global Development.
  14. Francesco Trebbi & Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina, 2008. "Electoral Rules and Minority Representation in U.S. Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 325-357, 02.
  15. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  16. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1997. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," NBER Working Papers 5881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  18. Marcelo J. Moreira, 2003. "A Conditional Likelihood Ratio Test for Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1048, 07.
  19. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  20. Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "The Political Economy of Hatred," NBER Working Papers 9171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Cutler, David M & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-72, August.
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