IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Ethnic Diversity, Democracy, and Health: Theory and Evidence

  • Go Kotera


    (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)

  • Nobuhiro Mizuno


    (Faculty of Commerce and Economics, Chiba University of Commerce)

  • Keisuke Okada


    (Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University,)

  • Sovannroeun Samreth


    (Faculty of Liberal Arts, Saitama University)

This paper examines the relationship between ethnic composition, political regimes, and the quality of public policy. Specifically, based on the citizen-candidate model, we assume individuals who have heterogeneous policy preferences and investigate how ethnic diversity affects selection of a politician and the resulting policy choices in democratic and dictatorial regimes. In the theoretical analysis, our model derives (1) a negative relationship between ethnic diversity and the quality of public policy, both in a democracy with a dominant group and in a dictatorship, and (2) a non-monotonic relationship in a democracy without a dominant group. In the empirical examination, using health outcomes as the proxy for the quality of public policy, our theoretical results are supported by evidence from the data of 154 countries.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research in its series KIER Working Papers with number 790.

in new window

Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:790
Contact details of provider: Postal: Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501
Phone: +81-75-753-7102
Fax: +81-75-753-7193
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. James M. Poterba, 1997. "Demographic structure and the political economy of public education," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
  2. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2008. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries," Working Papers w0120, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  4. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
  5. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Political Selection and the Qualilty of Government: Evidence from South India," Working Papers 921, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  6. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," NBER Working Papers 12921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2009. "Can good projects succeed in bad communities?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 899-916, August.
  8. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2002. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-037, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Sep 2004.
  9. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Bad Politicians," NBER Working Papers 8532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jacob L. Vigdor, 2004. "Community Composition and Collective Action: Analyzing Initial Mail Response to the 2000 Census," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 303-312, February.
  11. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2001. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 500-528, June.
  12. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Political Selection and the Quality ofGovernment: Evidence from South India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 44, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  13. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  14. Cagla Okten & Una Okonkwo Osili, 2004. "Contributions in heterogeneous communities: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 603-626, December.
  15. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  19. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democratic capital: The nexus of political and economic change," Working Papers 308, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  20. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2006. "Health and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 313-318, May.
  21. Raquel Fernández & Gilat Levy, 2005. "Diversity and redistribution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 544, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  22. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 187-278.
  23. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  24. Robert Deacon, 2009. "Public good provision under dictatorship and democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 241-262, April.
  25. Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2004. "Paying politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2423-2445, December.
    • Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  26. Paul Collier, 2001. "Implications of ethnic diversity," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 127-166, 04.
  27. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2010. "Political Selection and Persistence of Bad Governments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1511-1575, November.
  28. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff, 2000. "Determinants of collective action on the local commons: a model with evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 181-208, June.
  29. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
  30. Paul Collier, 2000. "Ethnicity, Politics and Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 225-245, November.
  31. Timothy Besley, 2005. "Political Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 43-60, Summer.
  32. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010. "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010," NBER Working Papers 15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Has Democratization Reduced Infant Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence from Micro Data," ISER Discussion Paper 0685, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  34. Simon Wigley & Arzu Akkoyunlu-Wigley, 2011. "Do electoral institutions have an impact on population health?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 595-610, September.
  35. Rajkumar, Andrew Sunil & Swaroop, Vinaya, 2008. "Public spending and outcomes: Does governance matter?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 96-111, April.
  36. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  37. Bluedorn, John C., 2001. "Can democracy help? Growth and ethnic divisions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 121-126, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:790. 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: (Ryo Okui)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.