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Peripheral Diversity and Redistribution


  • Desmet, Klaus
  • Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio
  • Weber, Shlomo


This paper investigates the effect of ethnolinguistic conflict on redistribution. The analysis focuses on the conflict arising between ‘peripheral’ minority groups and a dominant ‘centre’. We propose an index of linguistic conflict that (i) encompasses both diversity and polarization, and (ii) accounts for the distance between languages. Our results suggest that linguistic diversity is a better predictor of redistribution than linguistic polarization. We also find that incorporating linguistic distances improves the predictive power of our conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Desmet, Klaus & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio & Weber, Shlomo, 2005. "Peripheral Diversity and Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 5112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5112

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Victor Ginsburgh & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Disenfranchisement In Linguistically Diverse Societies: The Case Of The European Union," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 946-965, June.
    3. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2001. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 500-528, June.
    4. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    5. Lee, Woojin & Roemer, John E., 2006. "Racism and redistribution in the United States: A solution to the problem of American exceptionalism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1027-1052, August.
    6. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2013. "On The Theory Of Ethnic Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 161-192, January.
    7. 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.
    8. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    9. Fernández, Raquel & Levy, Gilat, 2005. "Class and Tastes: The Effects of Income and Preference Heterogeneity on Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 4834, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    11. Klaus Nehring & Clemens Puppe, 2002. "A Theory of Diversity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1155-1198, May.
    12. Jacob L. Vigdor, 2004. "Community Composition and Collective Action: Analyzing Initial Mail Response to the 2000 Census," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 303-312, February.
    13. Martin L. Weitzman, 1992. "On Diversity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 363-405.
    14. Gordon H. Hanson & Kenneth Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2007. "Public Finance And Individual Preferences Over Globalization Strategies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-33, March.
    15. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Fearon, James D, 2003. "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
    17. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the US Have a European-Style Welfare System?," NBER Working Papers 8524, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. MAYSTADT, Jean-François, 2007. "Does inequality make us rebel? A renewed theoretical model applied to South Mexico," CORE Discussion Papers 2007081, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    2. repec:zbw:hohpro:352 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Heinz Welsch & Jan Kuehling, 2017. "How Green Self Image Affects Subjective Well-Being: Pro-Environmental Values as a Social Norm," Working Papers V-404-17, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2017.
    4. Desmet, Klaus & Le Breton, Michel & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 2006. "Nation Formation and Genetic Diversity," IDEI Working Papers 133, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    5. Jean-François Maystadt, 2008. "Does inequality make us rebel? A revisited theoretical model applied to South Mexico," HiCN Working Papers 41, Households in Conflict Network.
    6. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:440-448 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:old:wpaper:352 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Klaus Desmet & Michel Le Breton & Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Shlomo Weber, 2008. "Stability of Nations and Genetic Diversity," Working Papers 003-08, International School of Economics at TSU, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
    9. CASTANEDA DOWER, Paul & GINSBURGH, Victor & WEBER, Shlomo, 2014. "Colonial legacy, linguistic disenfranchisement and the civil conflict in Sri Lanka," CORE Discussion Papers 2014048, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    10. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2009. "Linguistic Diversity and Redistribution," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1291-1318, December.
    11. Erkan Gören, 2013. "Economic Effects of Domestic and Neighbouring Countries’ Cultural Diversity," Working Papers V-352-13, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2013.
    12. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2017. "Peripheral diversity: transfers versus public goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 49(3), pages 787-823, December.
    13. Walter Bossert & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Eliana La Ferrara, 2011. "A Generalized Index of Fractionalization," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(312), pages 723-750, October.
    14. Castañeda Dower, Paul & Ginsburgh, Victor & Weber, Shlomo, 2017. "Colonial legacy, polarization and linguistic disenfranchisement: The case of the Sri Lankan War," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 440-448.

    More about this item


    linguistic diversity; polarization; redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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