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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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  12. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2011. "The Origins of Technolinguistic Diversity," Economics Working Papers 0095, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
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  14. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," 2008 Meeting Papers 617, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2012. "Cultural Diversity, Geographical Isolation, and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 6319, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Wacziarg, Romain & Spolaore, Enrico, 2006. "The Diffusion of Development," Research Papers 1898r1, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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  20. 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.
  21. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005. "Biogeography and long-run economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
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  25. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
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  28. 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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  31. Ahlerup, Pelle, 2009. "The Causal Effects of Ethnic Diversity: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Working Papers in Economics 386, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
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