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Social tolerance for human diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Prosper F. Bangwayo-Skeete
  • Precious Zikhali
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    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. Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2000. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0839, Econometric Society.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    5. 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.
    6. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
    7. Prosper F. Bangwayo-Skeete & Afaf H. Rahim & Precious Zikhali, 2009. "Does education engender cultural values that matter for economic growth?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200928, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    8. 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.
    9. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    10. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
    11. 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.
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