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The Indirect Effect of Ethnic Heterogeneity on the Likelihood of Civil War Onset

Author

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  • Randall J. Blimes

    (Department of Political Science University of Colorado, Boulder)

Abstract

This study leverages a statistical model to answer an empirical puzzle: given that popular conventional wisdom and many theories of ethnic conflict suggest that the ethnic composition of a society should influence the probability that a country experiences civil war, why are the results of large-n studies so contradictory? The author argues that confusion over the nature of the relationship between ethnic cleavages and the likelihood of civil war onset stems from a disconnect between ethnic conflict theory and empirical testing. Most studies that test for a relationship between the level of ethnic fractionalization and civil war onset test only for a direct relationship, while theories of ethnic conflict have suggested that ethnic diversity should have an indirect effect of the likelihood of civil war onset. The author uses a heteroskedastic probit model to show that ethnic fractionalization has an indirect effect on the likelihood of civil war onset.

Suggested Citation

  • Randall J. Blimes, 2006. "The Indirect Effect of Ethnic Heterogeneity on the Likelihood of Civil War Onset," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 50(4), pages 536-547, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:50:y:2006:i:4:p:536-547
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Krieger & Daniel Meierrieks, 2016. "Land Grabbing and Ethnic Conflict," Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 243-260, October.
    2. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:1:p:195-232 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Peter T. Leeson & Claudia R. Williamson, 2011. "Can’t We All Just Get Along? Fractionalization, Institutions and Economic Consequences," Chapters,in: The Handbook on the Political Economy of War, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Phanindra V. Wunnava & Aniruddha Mitra & Robert E. Prasch, 2015. "Globalization and the Ethnic Divide: Recent Longitudinal Evidence," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1475-1492, November.
    5. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1174-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Massimiliano Calì & Alen Mulabdic, 2017. "Trade and civil conflict: Revisiting the cross-country evidence," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 195-232, February.
    7. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1454-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Efendic, Adnan & Pugh, Geoffrey T., 2017. "Ethnic diversity and economic performance: An empirical investigation using survey data," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-57, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. Andrew L. Dabalen & Ephraim Kebede & Saumik Paul, 2012. "Causes of Civil War: Micro Level Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire," HiCN Working Papers 118, Households in Conflict Network.

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