IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_6238.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Geography of Linguistic Diversity and the Provision of Public Goods

Author

Listed:
  • Klaus Desmet
  • Joseph Gomes
  • Ignacio Ortuno-Ortín

Abstract

This paper theoretically analyzes and empirically investigates the importance of local interaction between individuals of different linguistic groups for the provision of public goods at the national level. Depending on whether local interaction mitigates or reinforces antagonism towards other groups, the micro-founded theory we develop predicts that a country’s provision of public goods (i) decreases in its overall linguistic fractionalization, and (ii) either increases or decreases in how much individuals locally learn about other groups. After constructing a 5 km by 5 km geographic dataset on language use for 223 countries, we compute measures of overall fractionalization and local learning, and investigate their relation to public good provision at the country level. While overall fractionalization worsens outcomes, we find a positive causal relation between local learning and public goods. Local mixing therefore mitigates the negative impact of a country’s overall linguistic fractionalization. An IV strategy shows that this result is not driven by the possible endogenous spatial distribution of language speakers within countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Desmet & Joseph Gomes & Ignacio Ortuno-Ortín, 2016. "The Geography of Linguistic Diversity and the Provision of Public Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 6238, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6238
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp6238.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hodler, Roland & Valsecchi, Michele & Vesperoni, Alberto, 2021. "Ethnic geography: Measurement and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    3. Jha, Saumitra, 2013. "Trade, Institutions, and Ethnic Tolerance: Evidence from South Asia," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 806-832, November.
    4. Andrei Shleifer & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Rafael La Porta, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 285-332, June.
    5. Alexander Karaivanov, 2009. "Heterogeneity, returns to scale, and collective action," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 771-807, May.
    6. Yann Algan & Camille Hémet & David D. Laitin, 2016. "The Social Effects of Ethnic Diversity at the Local Level: A Natural Experiment with Exogenous Residential Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(3), pages 696-733.
    7. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
    8. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
    9. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
    10. Sascha O. Becker & Luigi Pascali, 2019. "Religion, Division of Labor, and Conflict: Anti-semitism in Germany over 600 Years," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(5), pages 1764-1804, May.
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:4553034 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & Caroline Hoxby, 2004. "Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 348-396, April.
    13. Desmet, Klaus & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2012. "The political economy of linguistic cleavages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 322-338.
    14. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    15. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    16. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1872-1911, August.
    17. Tajima, Yuhki & Samphantharak, Krislert & Ostwald, Kai, 2018. "Ethnic Segregation and Public Goods: Evidence from Indonesia," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 637-653, August.
    18. Matz Dahlberg & Karin Edmark & Heléne Lundqvist, 2012. "Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 41-76.
    19. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    20. Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2018. "Ancestral Characteristics of Modern Populations," Economic History of Developing Regions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 1-17, January.
    21. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2015. "Insiders and Outsiders: Local Ethnic Politics and Public Goods Provision," NBER Working Papers 21720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Gershman, Boris & Rivera, Diego, 2018. "Subnational diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from a new dataset," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 231-263.
    23. Timothy G. Conley & Christian B. Hansen & Peter E. Rossi, 2012. "Plausibly Exogenous," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 260-272, February.
    24. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
    25. Richard Cornes & Roger Hartley, 2007. "Aggregative Public Good Games," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(2), pages 201-219, April.
    26. Sambanis, Nicholas & Shayo, Moses, 2013. "Social Identification and Ethnic Conflict," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 294-325, May.
    27. Algan, Yann & Hémet, Camille & Laitin, David D., 2011. "Diversity and Public Goods: A Natural Experiment with Exogenous Residential Allocation," IZA Discussion Papers 6053, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    28. Scott E. Carrell & Mark Hoekstra & James E. West, 2015. "The Impact of Intergroup Contact on Racial Attitudes and Revealed Preferences," NBER Working Papers 20940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    30. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    32. Johanne Boisjoly & Greg J. Duncan & Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy & Jacque Eccles, 2006. "Empathy or Antipathy? The Impact of Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1890-1905, December.
    33. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    34. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2004. "Why did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, with an Application to Britain's "Age of Reform"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 707-765.
    35. Yann Algan & Camille Hémet & David D. Laitin, 2016. "The Social Effects of Ethnic Diversity at the Local Level: A Natural Experiment with Exogenous Residential Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(3), pages 696-733.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hodler, Roland & Valsecchi, Michele & Vesperoni, Alberto, 2021. "Ethnic geography: Measurement and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    2. Joseph Flavian Gomes, 2020. "The health costs of ethnic distance: evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 195-226, June.
    3. Joseph Flavian Gomes, 2020. "Linguistic Fractionalization and Health Information in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 34(Supplemen), pages 20-25.
    4. Samuel Bazzi & Arya Gaduh & Alexander D. Rothenberg & Maisy Wong, 2019. "Unity in Diversity? How Intergroup Contact Can Foster Nation Building," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(11), pages 3978-4025, November.
    5. Maria D. C. Garcia-Alonso & Zaki Wahhaj, 2018. "Social Diversity and Bridging Identity," Studies in Economics 1802, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    6. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2021. "Linguistic Distance and Market Integration in India," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 1-39, March.
    7. Ulrich J. Eberle, 2020. "Damned by dams? Infrastructure and conflict," CEP Discussion Papers dp1694, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. María D. C García-Alonso & Zaki Wahhaj, 2021. "Social diversity and bridging identity," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 1324-1344.
    9. Samuel Bazzi & Matthew Gudgeon, 2017. "The Political Boundaries of Ethnic Divisions," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2018-005, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    10. Henderson,J. Vernon & Nigmatulina,Dzhamilya & Kriticos,Sebastian Constantine Gilmour, 2018. "Measuring Urban Economic Density," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8678, The World Bank.
    11. Eberle, Ulrich, 2020. "Damned by dams? Infrastructure and conflict," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108457, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Bazzi, Samuel & Gaduh, Arya & Rothenberg, Alexander & Wong, Maisy, 2017. "Unity in Diversity? Ethnicity, Migration, and Nation Building in Indonesia," CEPR Discussion Papers 12377, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Gershman, Boris & Rivera, Diego, 2018. "Subnational diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from a new dataset," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 231-263.
    14. Adelaide Baronchelli & Alessandra Foresta & Roberto Ricciuti, 2020. "The Words That Keep People Apart. Official Language, Accountability and Fiscal Capacity," CESifo Working Paper Series 8437, CESifo.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Joseph Flavian Gomes, 2020. "The health costs of ethnic distance: evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 195-226, June.
    2. Gershman, Boris & Rivera, Diego, 2018. "Subnational diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from a new dataset," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 231-263.
    3. Hodler, Roland & Valsecchi, Michele & Vesperoni, Alberto, 2021. "Ethnic geography: Measurement and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    4. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 101-138, June.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Jakina Debnam Guzman & Marie Christelle Mabeu & Roland Pongou, 2021. "Identity During a Pandemic: COVID-19 and Ethnic Divisions in the United States," Working Papers 2101E Classification-I14,, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    7. Egorov, Georgy & Enikolopov, Ruben & Makarin, Alexey & Petrova, Maria, 2021. "Divided we stay home: Social distancing and ethnic diversity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    8. Hollard, Guillaume & Sene, Omar, 2020. "What drives the quality of schools in Africa? Disentangling social capital and ethnic divisions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    9. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Viola Berlepsch, 2019. "Does Population Diversity Matter for Economic Development in the Very Long Term? Historic Migration, Diversity and County Wealth in the US," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 35(5), pages 873-911, December.
    10. Polipciuc, Maria & Cörvers, Frank & Montizaan, Raymond, 2021. "Peers' Race in Adolescence and Voting Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 14140, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Kotera, Go & Mizuno, Nobuhiro & Okada, Keisuke & Samreth, Sovannroeun, 2015. "Ethnic diversity, democracy, and health: Theory and evidence," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 353-376.
    12. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2019. "Cultural interaction and economic development: An overview," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 243-251.
    13. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The political economy of ethnolinguistic cleavages," Working Papers 2009-17, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
    14. Gerring, John & Thacker, Strom C. & Lu, Yuan & Huang, Wei, 2015. "Does Diversity Impair Human Development? A Multi-Level Test of the Diversity Debit Hypothesis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 166-188.
    15. Yann Algan & Camille Hémet & David D. Laitin, 2016. "The Social Effects of Ethnic Diversity at the Local Level: A Natural Experiment with Exogenous Residential Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(3), pages 696-733.
    16. Bluhm, Richard & Thomsson, Kaj, 2020. "Holding on? Ethnic divisions, political institutions and the duration of economic declines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    17. repec:zbw:hohpro:352 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Casey, Gregory P. & Owen, Ann L., 2014. "Inequality and Fractionalization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 32-50.
    19. Desmet, Klaus & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2012. "The political economy of linguistic cleavages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 322-338.
    20. Yann Algan & Camille Hémet & David Laitin, 2012. "The Social Effects of Ethnic Diversity at the Local Level," Working Papers hal-01171148, HAL.
    21. Monica Langella & Alan Manning, 2019. "Diversity and Neighbourhood Satisfaction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(624), pages 3219-3255.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6238. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.