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Ethnic Diversity and Poverty

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  • Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa
  • Smyth, Russell

Abstract

We examine the relationship between ethnic diversity and poverty for a cross-sectional sample of developing countries. We measure diversity using indices of ethnic and linguistic fractionalization, and measure poverty using the multidimensional poverty index (MPI), multidimensional poverty headcount (MPH), intensity of deprivation, poverty gap, and poverty headcount ratio. We find that ethnic and linguistic fractionalization contributes to poverty levels. Specifically, after controlling for endogeneity, we find that a standard deviation increase in ethnic fractionalization is associated with a 0.32-, 0.44- and 0.53-standard deviation increase in the MPI, MPH and the intensity of deprivation, respectively. Moreover, a standard deviation increase in ethnic fractionalization is associated with between a 0.34- and 0.63-standard deviation increase in the population living below $1.90 and $3.10, the poverty gap at $1.90 and $3.10 a day and the headcount ratio at $1.90 and $3.10 a day. Similar results are also observed for linguistic fractionalization with standardized coefficients between 0.53 and 0.93. We find that our results are robust to alternative ways to measure poverty and ethnic diversity including ethnic polarization as well as alternative approaches to address endogeneity.

Suggested Citation

  • Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Smyth, Russell, 2017. "Ethnic Diversity and Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 285-302.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:95:y:2017:i:c:p:285-302
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.02.032
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    1. Rodr�guez-Pose, Andr�s & von Berlepsch, Viola, 2017. "Does population diversity matter for economic development in the very long-term? Historic migration, diversity and county wealth in the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 12347, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. repec:eee:ecmode:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:281-290 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Eline D'Haene & Sam Desiere & Marijke D'Haese & Wim Verbeke & Koen Schoors, 2019. "Religion, Food Choices And Demand Seasonality: Evidence From The Ethiopian Milk Market," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 19/969, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    4. GOMADO, Kwamivi Mawuli, 2018. "Diversité ethnique et déforestation dans les pays en développement: identification des principaux canaux
      [Ethnic diversity and deforestation in developing countries: identifying the transmission ch
      ," MPRA Paper 89380, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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