Balkanization and assimilation: Examining the effects of state-created homogeneity
This paper investigates the effects of state-created homogeneity on the ability of socially distant individuals to trade. I show that where the state is absent, socially distant agents adopt the customs, practices and institutions of outsiders they desire to interact with. By creating a degree of homogeneity, agents signal their credibility to each other. These signals, in turn, enable inter-group exchange. Formal institutions provided by government can create noise in these signals. This noise incapacitates the information mechanism employed by heterogeneous agents to enable trade.
Volume (Year): 65 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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