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On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict

  • Francesco Caselli
  • Wilbur John Coleman II

We present a theory of ethnic conflict in which coalitions formed along ethnic lines compete for the economy's resources. The role of ethnicity is to enforce coalition membership: in ethnically homogeneous societies members of the losing coalition can defect to the winners at low cost, and this rules out conflict as an equilibrium outcome. We derive a number of implications of the model relating social, political, and economic indicators such as the incidence of conflict, the distance among ethnic groups, group sizes, income inequality, and expropriable resources.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0732.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0732
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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