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Does ethnic diversity decrease economic interactions? Evidence from exchange networks in rural Gambia

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  • Jean‐Louis Arcand
  • Dany Jaimovich

Abstract

Using a unique dataset collected in 59 rural Gambian villages, we study how ethnic heterogeneity is related to the structure of four economic exchange networks: land, labour, inputs and credit. We find that different measures of village‐level ethnic fragmentation are mostly uncorrelated with network structure. At a more disaggregated level, household heads belonging to ethnic minorities are not less central than those from the predominant ethnicity in any of the networks and, at the dyadic level, the fact that two households share ethnicity is not an economically significant predictor of link formation. Our results indicate that, in the particular setting of our study, the structure of the exchange networks is better defined by other variables than ethnicity and that ethnic heterogeneity is unlikely to be a driver for sub‐optimal economic exchanges.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean‐Louis Arcand & Dany Jaimovich, 2019. "Does ethnic diversity decrease economic interactions? Evidence from exchange networks in rural Gambia," Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(2), pages 327-353, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:ectrin:v:27:y:2019:i:2:p:327-353
    DOI: 10.1111/ecot.12211
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Does ethnic diversity decrease economic interactions? Evidence from exchange networks in rural Gambia
      by Dany Jaimovich - Bakary Baludin in Development Therapy on 2014-12-19 01:56:00
    2. Papers using the Gambia Networks Data 2009
      by Dany Jaimovich - Bakary Baludin in Development Therapy on 2015-04-21 19:27:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Quynh Hoang & Laure Pasquier-Doumer & Camille Saint-Macary, 2018. "Ethnicity and risk sharing network formation: Evidence from rural Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series 134, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Hoang & Laure Pasquier-Doumer & Camille Saint-Macary, 2018. "Ethnicity and risk sharing network formation: Evidence from rural Viet Nam," Working Papers DT/2018/15, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    3. Jaimovich, Dany, 2015. "Missing Links, Missing Markets: Evidence of the Transformation Process in the Economic Networks of Gambian Villages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 645-664.
    4. Quynh Hoang & Laure Pasquier-Doumer & Camille Saint-Macary, 2018. "Ethnicity and risk sharing network formation: Evidence from rural Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-134, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Quynh Hoang & Camille Saint Macary & Laure Pasquier-Doumer, 2021. "Ethnicity and risk sharing network formation: Evidence from rural Viet Nam," Working Papers hal-03361332, HAL.
    6. Beck, Ulrik & Bjerge, Benedikte, 2017. "Pro-poor Land Transfers and the Importance of Land Abundance and Ethnicity in The Gambia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 122-140.
    7. Irene van Staveren & Zahid Pervaiz, 2017. "Is it Ethnic Fractionalization or Social Exclusion, Which Affects Social Cohesion?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 711-731, January.
    8. Stéphanie Cassilde & Kelly Labart, 2019. "A Pluri-Ethno-Linguistic Fragmentation Index," Post-Print halshs-02909924, HAL.
    9. Beck, Ulrik & Bjerge, Benedikte & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2015. "Social Ties and the Efficiency of Factor Transfers," CEPR Discussion Papers 10957, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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