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Measuring Ethno-Linguistic Affinity between Nations

  • Olaf J. de Groot

Research on ethno-linguistic ties has so far mostly focused on domestic measures of ethno-linguistic heterogeneity. Little attention has been given to the possibility that ethno-linguistic relations between countries may affect out- comes, particularly in a spatial econometric context. In this paper, I propose a way of measuring Ethno-Linguistic Affinity between nations. This new index measures the degree of similarity two randomly drawn individuals from two different populations can be expected to display. I show that this measure has a number of attractive theoretical characteristics, which make it particularly useful and continue to actually construct such a measure for all countries in Africa. Finally, using this measure of Ethno-Linguistic Affinity, I show that civil conflict in Africa is likely to spill over between contiguous ethno-linguistically similar countries.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.340399.de/dp921.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 921.

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Length: 29 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp921
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