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When Does Ethnic Diversity Lead to Violence? Evidence from the 2007 Elections in Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Markussen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Kitavi Mbuvi

    (Kenya Institute of Education)

Abstract

Some people have a concern for a fair distribution of incomes while others do not. Does such a concern matter for majority voting on redistribution? Fairness preferences are relevant for redistribution outcomes only if fair-minded voters are pivotal. Pivotality, in turn, depends on the structure of income classes. We experimentally study voting on redistribution between two income classes and show that the effect of inequality aversion is asymmetric. Inequality aversion is more likely to matter if the “rich” are in majority. With a “poor” majority, we find that redistribution outcomes look as if all voters were exclusively motivated by self-interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Markussen & Kitavi Mbuvi, 2011. "When Does Ethnic Diversity Lead to Violence? Evidence from the 2007 Elections in Kenya," Discussion Papers 11-19, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1119
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/dp_2011/1119.pdf/
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. José G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2005. "Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict, and Civil Wars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 796-816, June.
    2. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-573, October.
    3. Barron, Patrick & Kaiser, Kai & Pradhan, Menno, 2009. "Understanding Variations in Local Conflict: Evidence and Implications from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 698-713, March.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:75-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    6. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    7. Dercon, Stefan & Gutiérrez-Romero, Roxana, 2012. "Triggers and Characteristics of the 2007 Kenyan Electoral Violence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 731-744.
    8. Marshall Burke & John Dykema & David Lobell & Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath, 2010. "Climate and Civil War: Is the Relationship Robust?," NBER Working Papers 16440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Nicholas Sambanis, 2001. "Do Ethnic and Nonethnic Civil Wars Have the Same Causes?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 45(3), pages 259-282, June.
    10. Magnus Hatlebakk, 2010. "Maoist Control and Level of Civil Conflict in Nepal," South Asia Economic Journal, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, vol. 11(1), pages 99-110, March.
    11. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "Geography, poverty and conflict in Nepal," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(6), pages 735-748, November.
    12. Marta Reynal-Querol, 2002. "Ethnicity, Political Systems, and Civil Wars," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(1), pages 29-54, February.
    13. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
    14. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:04:p:715-735_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2004. "Ethnic polarization, potential conflict and civil wars," Economics Working Papers 770, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2005.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; ethnicity; poverty; unemployment; public services; Kenya;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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