IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Egalitarian norms, economic development, and ethnic polarization

Listed author(s):
  • Haagsma, Rein
  • Mouche, Pierre v.

Economic development generally implies that traditional egalitarian norms and beliefs are replaced by modern individualistic values. Particularly when opportunities for advancement are unequally presented to people, this transformation may be accompanied by polarization and violent conflict. We illustrate this point by describing the processes of land privatization in Sub-Saharan Africa and then present two models that capture some salient aspects of this transformation in rural communities, including the possibility of polarization. We find that the support of egalitarian norms is notably strong when new opportunities are available for only a few people or when the community is socially unstable. Moreover, in unstable communities, polarization is strongest when the group with the most lucrative opportunities comprises half the population.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596712000868
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 719-744

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:3:p:719-744
DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2012.10.005
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. José G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2005. "Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict, and Civil Wars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 796-816, June.
  2. Joseph Henrich, 2001. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 73-78, May.
  3. Rabin, Matthew, 1994. "Cognitive dissonance and social change," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-194, March.
  4. Pauline Peters, 2007. "Challenges in Land Tenure and Land Reform in Africa: An Anthropological Perspective," CID Working Papers 141, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  5. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  6. Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2009. "Institutional obstacles to African economic development: State, ethnicity, and custom," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 669-689, September.
  7. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-319, June.
  8. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
  9. Klaus Deininger, 2003. "Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15125, September.
  10. Frances Stewart, 2000. "Crisis Prevention: Tackling Horizontal Inequalities," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(3), pages 245-262.
  11. Philippe LeMay-Boucher & Joël Noret & Vincent Somville, 2013. "Facing Misfortune: Expenditures on Magico-Religious Powers for Cure and Protection in Benin," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(2), pages 300-322, March.
  12. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
  13. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  14. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
  15. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2011. "Linking Conflict to Inequality and Polarization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1345-1374, June.
  16. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
  17. Robert H. Bates, 1999. "Ethnicity, Capital Formation, and Conflict," CID Working Papers 27, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  18. Murgai, Rinku & Winters, Paul & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Janvry, Alain de, 2002. "Localized and incomplete mutual insurance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 245-274, April.
  19. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
  20. Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2009. "Institutional Obstacles to African Economic Development: State, Ethnicity, and Custom," Post-Print hal-00726664, HAL.
  21. Jan Kees van Donge & Levi Pherani, 1999. "Law and order as a development issue: Land conflicts and the creation of social order in Southern Malawi," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 48-70.
  22. Deininger, Klaus & Castagnini, Raffaella, 2006. "Incidence and impact of land conflict in Uganda," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 321-345, July.
  23. Haagsma, Rein & Koning, Niek, 2002. "Endogenous mobility-reducing norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 523-547, December.
  24. Darity, William Jr. & Mason, Patrick L. & Stewart, James B., 2006. "The economics of identity: The origin and persistence of racial identity norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 283-305, July.
  25. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
  26. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
  27. Robert J. Oxoby, 2004. "Cognitive dissonance, status and growth of the underclass," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 727-749, October.
  28. Marta Reynal-Querol, 2002. "Ethnicity, Political Systems, and Civil Wars," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(1), pages 29-54, February.
  29. Elbadawi, Ibrahim & Sambanis, Nicholas, 2001. "How much war will we see? Estimating the incidence of civil war in 161 countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2533, The World Bank.
  30. Deepa Narayan & Robert Chambers & Meera K. Shah & Patti Petesch, 2000. "Voices of the Poor : Crying Out for Change," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13848, September.
  31. 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.
  32. Salvatore di Falco & Erwin Bulte, 2011. "A Dark Side of Social Capital? Kinship, Consumption, and Savings," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(8), pages 1128-1151, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:3:p:719-744. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.