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The Roots of Ethnic Diversity

  • Ahlerup, Pelle

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Olsson, Ola

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

The level of ethnic diversity is believed to have significant consequences for economic and political development within countries. In this article, we provide a theoretical and empirical analysis of the determinants of ethnic diversity in the world. We introduce a model of cultural and ge- netic drift where new ethnic groups endogenously emerge among periph- eral populations as a response to an insufficient supply of public goods. In line with our model, we find that the duration of human settlements has a strong positive association with ethnic diversity. Ethnic diversity decreases with the length of modern state experience and with distance from the equator. Both "primordial" and "constructivist" hypotheses of ethnic fractionalization thus receive some support by our analysis.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/8482
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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 281.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 14 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0281
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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  1. Jean-Louis Arcand & Patrick Guillaumont & Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney, 2000. "How to make a tragedy: on the alleged effect of ethnicity on growth," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(7), pages 925-938.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Olsson, Ola, 2009. "On the democratic legacy of colonialism," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 534-551, December.
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  6. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2003-41, August.
  7. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  8. 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 222-79, April.
  9. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 62-99, April.
  10. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2006. "The Diffusion of Development," NBER Working Papers 12153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Fletcher, Erin & Iyigun, Murat, 2009. "Cultures, Clashes and Peace," IZA Discussion Papers 4116, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  13. Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto, 1998. "Openness, Country Size and Government," Scholarly Articles 4553014, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Paul Collier, 2000. "Ethnicity, Politics and Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 225-245, November.
  15. Leeson, Peter T., 2005. "Endogenizing fractionalization," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 75-98, June.
  16. Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, 2004. "Early Starts, Reversals and Catchup in The Process of Economic Development," Working Papers 2004-04, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  17. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2012. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1508-39, June.
  18. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs Jr., Douglas A., 2000. "Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development," Working Papers in Economics 26, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 11 Aug 2000.
  19. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
  20. Oded Galor & Quamrul Ashraf, 2007. "Cultural Assimilation, Cultural Diffusion and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," Working Papers 2007-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  21. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  22. Louis Putterman, 2006. "Agriculture, Diffusion,and Development: Ripple Effects of the Neolithic Revolutions," Working Papers 2006-19, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  23. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
  24. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1856, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  25. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  26. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. " States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-69, December.
  27. Ahlerup, Pelle, 2009. "The Causal Effects of Ethnic Diversity: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Working Papers in Economics 386, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  28. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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