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Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation

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  • Quamrul Ashraf
  • Oded Galor

Abstract

The origin of the uneven distribution of ethnic and cultural fragmentation across countries has been underexplored, despite the importance attributed to the effects of diversity on the stability and prosperity of nations. Building on the role of deeply-rooted biogeographical forces in comparative development, this research empirically demonstrates that genetic diversity, predominantly determined during the prehistoric "out of Africa" migration of humans, is an underlying cause of various existing manifestations of ethnolinguistic heterogeneity. Further research may revolutionize our understanding of how economic development and the composition of human capital across the globe are affected by these deeply-rooted factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 528-533, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:528-33
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.528
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2013. "How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 325-369, June.
    2. Desmet, Klaus & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2012. "The political economy of linguistic cleavages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 322-338.
    3. 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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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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