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Religious diversity, intolerance and civil conflict

  • Joseph Flavian Gomes

    ()

We compute new measures of religious diversity and intolerance and study their effects on civil conflict. Using a religion tree that describes the relationship between different religions, we compute measures of religious diversity at three different levels of aggregation. We find that religious diversity is a significant and robust correlate of civil conflict. While religious fractionalization significantly reduces conflict, religious polarization increases it. This is most robust at the second level of aggregation which implies that the cleavage between Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and Christians etc. is more relevant than that between either subgroups of religions like Protestants and Catholics, Shias and Sunnis, etc. or that between higher levels of aggregation like Abrahamic and Indian religions. We find religious intolerance to be a significant and robust predictor of conflict. Ethnic polarization ceases to be a robust predictor of civil conflict once we control for religious diversity and intolerance. We find no evidence that some religions are more violent than others.

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File URL: http://e-archivo.uc3m.es/bitstream/10016/17122/1/we1311.pdf
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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1311.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1311
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  1. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
  2. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "The Political Economy of Linguistic Cleavages," Vives discussion paper series 20, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen, Vives.
  3. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
  4. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War," NBER Working Papers 14801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Anirban Mitra & Debraj Ray, 2014. "Implications of an Economic Theory of Conflict: Hindu-Muslim Violence in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(4), pages 719 - 765.
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