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Ethnicity and Conflict: An Empirical Study

  • Joan Esteban
  • Laura Mayoral
  • Debraj Ray

We examine empirically the impact of ethnic divisions on conflict, by using a specification based on Esteban and Ray (2011). That theory links conflict intensity to three indices of ethnic distribution: polarization, fractionalization, and the Gini-Greenberg index. The empirical analysis verifies that these distributional measures are significant correlates of conflict. These effects persist as we introduce country-specific measures of group cohesion and of the importance of public goods, and combine them with the distributional measures exactly as described by the theory. (JEL D63, D74, J15, O15, O17)

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

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
Pages: 1310-42

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:4:p:1310-42
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  1. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2009. "Linking Conflict to Inequality and Polarization," Working Papers 377, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
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  8. José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2004. "Ethnic polarization, potential conflict and civil wars," Economics Working Papers 770, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2005.
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