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Social tolerance for human diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Prosper F. Bangwayo-Skeete
  • Precious Zikhali

Purpose – This paper seeks to investigate the individual-level determinants of self-declared social tolerance towards six groups/practices in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): tolerance to linguistic differences, racial distinction, religious dissimilarity, homosexuality, acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (AIDS) victims and immigrants. Design/methodology/approach – Using individual-level data from the 2005 World Values Survey, the paper simultaneously estimates multivariate probit models for all six dimensions of social tolerance. Findings – Apart from the strong interdependency among all social tolerance indicators, the analysis reveals that individual attributes affect tolerance towards the six groups differently. For instance, education enhances social tolerance for all groups except homosexuals while access to media increase tolerance for people living with AIDS. Research/limitations/implications – Effective social tolerance policies can be enhanced through joint targeting of the indicators considered. Moreover, tolerance-enhancing policies generally benefit from improved access to education while improved access to media could increase tolerance for AIDS victims. Originality/value – The originality of the analysis lies in the joint analysis or determination of a wider spectrum of social tolerance indicators. This paper can help to inform policies that are aimed at reducing SSA's recurrent inter- and intra-group conflicts attributed primarily to the region's high levels of ethnic and cultural fragmentation.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (May)
Pages: 516-536

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:38:y:2011:i:6:p:516-536
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  1. Bangwayo-Skeete, Prosper F. & Rahim, Afaf H. & Zikhali, Precious, 2011. "Does education engender cultural values that matter for economic growth?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 163-171, April.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Becchetti, Leonardo & Rossetti, Fiammetta & Castriota, Stefano, 2010. "Real household income and attitude toward immigrants: an empirical analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 81-88, January.
  4. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2000. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
  6. Luca CORREANI & Fabio DI DIO & Giuseppe GAROFALO, 2010. "The Evolutionary Dynamics of Tolerance," Theoretical and Practical Research in Economic Fields, ASERS Publishing, vol. 0(2), pages 219 - 231, December.
  7. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
  8. Norbert Kersting, 2009. "New Nationalism and Xenophobia in Africa – A New Inclination?," Africa Spectrum, Institute of African Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 44(1), pages 7-18.
  9. Eric M. Uslaner, 2005. "Varieties of Trust," Working Papers 2005.69, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. Enrico Lovász & Bernhard Schipp, 2009. "The Impact Of Hiv/Aids On Economic Growth In Sub-Saharan Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 77(2), pages 245-256, 06.
  11. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  12. Daniel Zerfu & Precious Zikhali & Innocent Kabenga, 2009. "Does Ethnicity Matter for Trust? Evidence from Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(1), pages 153-175, January.
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