Ethnic Distribution, Effective Power and Conflict
Ethnic heterogeneity can potentially be related to the occurrence of conflicts with longlasting economic effects. Two main measures of ethnic heterogeneity are employed in the econometric literature on ethnic diversity and conflict: the Gini heterogeneity or fractionalization index and the discrete polarization index. However, still no broad consensus is reached on which distributional aspect of ethnic diversity is associated with the outbreak of conflict. In this paper we argue that the relative importance of each pattern of ethnic diversity depends on the trade-off between the groups' power and its interaction with other groups. Following the Esteban and Ray [On the measurement of polarization, Econometrica, 62(4), 1994] approach to social antagonism, we axiomatically derive a parametric class of indices of conflict potential that ombines the groups' effective power and the between-groups interaction. We use a discrete metric to define the distances between groups and we do not treat each group as a unitary actor. Moreover, we assume that the effective power of a group depends not only on its own relative size but also on the relative size of all the other groups in the population. We show that for certain parameter values the obtained indices reduce to the existing indices of ethnic diversity, while in general the derived indices combine in a non-linear way three different aspects of ethnic diversity, namely the fractionalization, the polarization and the ethnic dominance. The power component of the extreme element of the class of indices is given by the relative Penrose-Banzhaf index of voting power. The results from our empirical exercise show that the derived extreme index outperforms the existing indices of ethnic diversity in the explanation of ethnic conflict onset.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.ecineq.org|
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992.
"On the Measurement of Polarization,"
UFAE and IAE Working Papers
171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- JoseG. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2008. "Discrete Polarisation with an Application to the Determinants of Genocides," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(533), pages 1835-1865, November.
- Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
- Joan Esteban, 2003.
"Olson VS. Coase: Coalitional Worth in Conflict,"
Theory and Decision,
Springer, vol. 55(4), pages 339-357, December.
- Joan Esteban & Jozsef Sakovics, 2002. "Olson vs. Coase: coalitional worth in conflict," ESE Discussion Papers 81, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
- Joan Esteban & József Sákovics, 2002. "Olson vs. Coase: Coalitional worth in conflict," Economics Working Papers 645, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Joan Mª Esteban & József Sákovics, 2003. "Olson vs. Coase: Coalitional Worth in Conflict," Working Papers 3, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Stergios Skaperdas, 1996.
"Contest success functions (*),"
Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
- Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
- Jose Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2010. "Ethnic polarization and the duration of civil wars," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 123-143, April.
- Paul Collier, 2001. "Implications of ethnic diversity," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 127-166, 04.
- Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Collective Rent Dissipation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1522-34, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2013-294. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maria Ana Lugo)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.