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The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity

  • Stelios Michalopoulos

This study explores the determinants of ethnolinguistic diversity within as well as across countries, shedding light on its geographic origins. The empirical analysis conducted across countries, virtual countries, and pairs of contiguous regions establishes that geographic variability, captured by variation in regional land quality and elevation, is a fundamental determinant of contemporary linguistic diversity. The findings are consistent with the proposed hypothesis that differences in land endowments gave rise to location-specific human capital, leading to the formation of localized ethnicities. (JEL J15, J24, Z13)

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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: 1508-39

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:4:p:1508-39
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  1. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
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  5. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2010. "The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," Center for Development Economics 2010-03, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Dec 2012.
  6. Diego Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2010. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 BC?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 65-97, July.
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  9. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 2003. " Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-94, June.
  10. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," 2008 Meeting Papers 617, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "The Roots of Ethnic Diversity," Working Papers in Economics 281, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  12. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "The Political Economy of Linguistic Cleavages," Vives discussion paper series 20, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen, Vives.
  13. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
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