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Culture, Contiguity and Conflict: On the Measurement of Ethnolinguistic Effects in Spatial Spillovers

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  • Olaf De Groot

Abstract

Research on ethnolinguistic heterogeneity has so far mostly focused on domestic measures, while little attention has been paid to ethnolinguistic relations between nations. In this paper, I propose a way of measuring ethnolinguistic affinity between nations. This index measures the degree of similarity two randomly drawn individuals from two different populations are expected to display. I show that this measure has several attractive theoretical characteristics, which make it particularly useful. Subsequently, I construct the measure for all countries in Africa and use it to show that civil conflict in Africa is likely to spill over between contiguous ethnolinguistically similar countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Olaf De Groot, 2011. "Culture, Contiguity and Conflict: On the Measurement of Ethnolinguistic Effects in Spatial Spillovers," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(3), pages 436-454.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:3:p:436-454
    DOI: 10.1080/00220381003599386
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
    2. Walter Bossert & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Eliana La Ferrara, 2011. "A Generalized Index of Fractionalization," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(312), pages 723-750, October.
    3. Alberto Alesina & William Easterly & Janina Matuszeski, 2011. "Artificial States," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 246-277, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bosker, Maarten & de Ree, Joppe, 2014. "Ethnicity and the spread of civil war," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 206-221.
    2. Carmignani, Fabrizio & Kler, Parvinder, 2016. "Surrounded by wars: Quantifying the role of spatial conflict spillovers," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 7-16.
    3. Carmignani, Fabrizio & Kler, Parvinder, 2016. "The geographical spillover of armed conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 109-119.
    4. Benjamin Crost & Joseph H. Felter, 2015. "Is Conflict Contagious? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," HiCN Working Papers 197, Households in Conflict Network.

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