Conceptualizing and Measuring Ethnicity
This paper critically reviews the ontological debates over the nature of ethnicity and the different ways in which it is operationalized and “measured” for quantitative research. It is argued that while moving away from a “primordealist” position on ethnicity renders measurement of the social diversity more difficult, conceptually and practically it does not invalidate this exercise. A second problem, however, is also identified with the measurement of ethnicity: when information on ethnic diversity is incorporated with other socio-economic information, a range of measures can be derived that purport to pick up very different distributions, but that are in reality often very highly correlated. These two problems combined present a significant challenge for the quantitative study of the relationship between ethnic diversity and political and economic outcomes such as conflict and growth patterns. The authors do not assert that these problems invalidate the exercise of investigating these relationships econometrically entirely, but they suggest the problems do warn us to be more guarded and modest in the claims made on the basis of such analyses.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CODS20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CODS20|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Maasoumi, Esfandiar, 1986. "The Measurement and Decomposition of Multi-dimensional Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 991-97, July.
- Sambanis, Nicholas, 1999. "Ethnic partition as a solution to ethnic war - an empirical critique of the theoretical literature," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2208, The World Bank.
- Servaas Van Der Berg & Megan Louw, 2004.
"Changing Patterns Of South African Income Distribution: Towards Time Series Estimates Of Distribution And Poverty,"
South African Journal of Economics,
Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(3), pages 546-572, 09.
- Servaas van der Berg & Megan Louw, 2003. "Changing Patterns of South African income distribution: Towards time series estimates of distribution and poverty," Working Papers 02/2003, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
- Ukoha Ukiwo, 2005. "The Study of Ethnicity in Nigeria," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 7-23.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:38:y:2010:i:4:p:411-436. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.