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Ethnic Segregation and Public Goods: Evidence from Indonesia

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  • TAJIMA, YUHKI
  • SAMPHANTHARAK, KRISLERT
  • OSTWALD, KAI

Abstract

This article contributes to the study of ethnic diversity and public goods provision by assessing the role of the spatial distribution of ethnic groups. Through a new theory that we call spatial interdependence, we argue that the segregation of ethnic groups can reduce or even neutralize the “diversity penalty†in public goods provision that results from ethnic fractionalization. This is because local segregation allows communities to use disparities in the level of public goods compared with other communities as leverage when advocating for more public goods for themselves, thereby ratcheting up the level of public goods across communities. We test this prediction on highly disaggregated data from Indonesia and find strong support that, controlling for ethnic fractionalization, segregated communities have higher levels of public goods. This has an important and underexplored implication: decentralization disadvantages integrated communities vis-à -vis their more segregated counterparts.

Suggested Citation

  • Tajima, Yuhki & Samphantharak, Krislert & Ostwald, Kai, 2018. "Ethnic Segregation and Public Goods: Evidence from Indonesia," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 637-653, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:112:y:2018:i:03:p:637-653_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Bharathi, Naveen & Malghan, Deepak & Mishra, Sumit & Rahman, Andaleeb, 2018. "Spatial Segregation, Multi-scale Diversity, and Public Goods," SocArXiv 4fq8z, Center for Open Science.
    2. Mariko Nakagawa & Yasuhiro Sato & Kazuhiro Yamamoto, 2019. "Segregation and Public Spending under Social Identification," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1132, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    3. Desmet, Klaus & Gomes, Joseph Flavian & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio, 2020. "The geography of linguistic diversity and the provision of public goods," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    4. Ole Magnus Theisen & Håvard Strand & Gudrun Østby, 2020. "Ethno-political favouritism in maternal health care service delivery: Micro-level evidence from sub-Saharan Africa, 1981–2014," International Area Studies Review, Center for International Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 3-27, March.

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