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Ethnicity and the distribution of welfare: Evidence from southern Kyrgyzstan

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  • Esenaliev, Damir
  • Steiner, Susan

Abstract

Economic disparity between ethnic groups is sometimes supposed to be the main driver of ethnic conflict. Understanding the extent and the sources of such disparity is then important to help formulate policies that aim at avoiding further conflict. This paper analyzes economic disparity between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan. These groups were involved in violent clashes in the recent past. Using household survey data from 2005, we show that, in contrast to the public perception, Kyrgyz households have slightly higher expenditure than Uzbek households in urban areas and about the same level in rural areas. The gap in urban areas is mostly due to smaller households and higher education among the Kyrgyz. We also find that Uzbek households are better off than Kyrgyz households in terms of the value of housing property. We argue that the house value gap can be explained by the Uzbeks having larger houses, which are home to larger families and serve as a basis for running small businesses.

Suggested Citation

  • Esenaliev, Damir & Steiner, Susan, 2014. "Ethnicity and the distribution of welfare: Evidence from southern Kyrgyzstan," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 970-982.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:42:y:2014:i:4:p:970-982
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2014.08.002
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:etrans:v:26:y:2018:i:1:p:61-89 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Tilman Brück & Moritz Hennicke & Antje Schumann, 2018. "Ethnic Inequality and Forced Displacement," Working Papers ECARES 2018-27, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Household welfare; Ethnicity; Decomposition; Kyrgyzstan;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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