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Social dynamics and minority protection


  • Carbonara, Emanuela
  • Pasotti, Piero


Minority-protection laws often differ over time and across societies. We show how the dynamic interaction between strong and weak social groups may account for these differences and their evolution. We assume that interaction occurs in a democratic environment, where representative institutions design norms according to the perceived voters' support. Minority protection is strong when social reaction to discrimination is high. Interestingly, when discriminators harm members of weak social groups more if they do not react against discrimination, an initial increase in minority protection immediately reduces the level of social unrest, giving rise to fluctuations, as protest starts again when discrimination is back to high levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Carbonara, Emanuela & Pasotti, Piero, 2010. "Social dynamics and minority protection," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-328, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:30:y:2010:i:4:p:317-328

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
    2. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2013. "On The Theory Of Ethnic Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 161-192, January.
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    6. Dhammika Dharmapala & Nuno Garoupa, 2004. "Penalty Enhancement for Hate Crimes: An Economic Analysis," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 185-207.
    7. Cooter, Robert, 2000. "Do Good Laws Make Good Citizens? An Economic Analysis of Internalizing Legal Values," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt3xr1v1x2, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    8. Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991. "Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-1643, December.
    9. Carbonara Emanuela & Parisi Francesco & von Wangenheim Georg, 2008. "Lawmakers as Norm Entrepreneurs," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 779-799, December.
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    11. David Neumark & Harry Holzer, 2000. "Assessing Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 483-568, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. von Wangenheim Georg, 2011. "Evolutionary Theories in Law and Economics and Their Use for Comparative Legal Theory," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(3), pages 737-765, December.
    2. Carbonara, Emanuela & Parisi, Francesco & von Wangenheim, Georg, 2012. "Unjust laws and illegal norms," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 285-299.


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