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Ethnicity, Capital Formation, and Conflict

Listed author(s):
  • Robert H. Bates
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    Ethnicity plays an ambiguous role in the great transformation. On the one hand, ethnicity creates: by providing incentives that organize the flow of resources across generations, it provides the capital for urban migration and the acquisition of skills for industrial employment. On the other hand, ethnicity destroys: ethnic conflict leads to costly acts of violence. Using data drawn largely from Africa, this paper explores the two faces of ethnicity. In so doing, it finds that the presumed link between ethnicity and violence is more complex and less threatening than most assume. Those who claim a straightforward link are making an elementary error in the reading of tabular data.

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    File URL: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/var/ezp_site/storage/fckeditor/file/pdfs/centers-programs/centers/cid/publications/faculty/wp/027.pdf
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    Paper provided by Center for International Development at Harvard University in its series CID Working Papers with number 27A.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2001
    Handle: RePEc:cid:wpfacu:27a
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    1. 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.
    2. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    3. Posner, Richard A, 1980. "A Theory of Primitive Society, with Special Reference to Law," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-53, April.
    4. Gian S. Sahota, 1968. "An Economic Analysis of Internal Migration in Brazil," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 218-218.
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