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Ethicity, Capital Formation, and Conflict

  • Bates, R.H.

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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Paper provided by Chicago - Graduate School of Business in its series Papers with number 27.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:chicbu:27
Contact details of provider: Postal: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, H.G.B. ALEXANDER FOUNDATION GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60637 U.S.A.
Web page: http://gsb.uchicago.edu/

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  1. Gian S. Sahota, 1968. "An Economic Analysis of Internal Migration in Brazil," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 218.
  2. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  3. Binswanger, Hans P & McIntire, John, 1987. "Behavioral and Material Determinants of Production Relations in Land-Abundant Tropical Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 73-99, October.
  4. Richard A. Posner, 1979. "A Theory of Primitive Society with Special Reference to Law," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 7, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  5. 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.
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