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Public goods and ethnic diversity: evidence from deforestation in Indonesia

Author

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  • Alberto Alesina
  • Caterina Gennaioli
  • Stefania Lovo

Abstract

This paper shows that the level of deforestation in Indonesia is positively related to the degree of ethnic fractionalization at the district level. To identify a casual relation we exploit the exogenous timing of variations in the level of ethnic heterogeneity due to the creation of new jurisdictions. We provide evidence consistent with a lower control of politicians, through electoral punishment, in more ethnically fragmented districts. Our results bring a new perspective on the political economy of deforestation. They are consistent with the literature of (under) provision of public goods and social capital in ethnically diverse societies and suggest that when the underlying communities are ethnically fractionalized, decentralization can reduce deforestation.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina & Caterina Gennaioli & Stefania Lovo, 2015. "Public goods and ethnic diversity: evidence from deforestation in Indonesia," GRI Working Papers 166, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  • Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp166
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Samuel Bazzi & Matthew Gudgeon, 2015. "Local Government Proliferation, Diversity, and Conflict," HiCN Working Papers 205, Households in Conflict Network.
    2. Rivayani Darmawan & Stephan Klasen & Nunung Nuryartono, 2015. "Migration and Deforestation in Indonesia," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 187, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    3. Bluhm R & Thomsson K.M., 2015. "Ethnic divisions, political institutions and the duration of declines: A political economy theory of delayed recovery," MERIT Working Papers 003, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Samuel Bazzi & Matthew Gudgeon, "undated". "Local Government Proliferation, Diversity, and Conflict," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-271, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    5. Arnim Langer & Frances Stewart & Maarten Schroyens, 2016. "Horizontal inequalities and affirmative action: An analysis of attitudes towards redistribution across groups in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 119, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Leblois, Antoine & Damette, Olivier & Wolfersberger, Julien, 2017. "What has Driven Deforestation in Developing Countries Since the 2000s? Evidence from New Remote-Sensing Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 82-102.
    7. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:282-289 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Gerrit J. Gonschorek & Günther G. Schulze & Bambang Suharnoko Sjahrir, 2018. "To the ones in need or the ones you need? The Political Economy of Central Discretionary Grants − Empirical Evidence from Indonesia," Discussion Paper Series 36, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Jan 2018.
    9. Bluhm, Richard & Thomsson, Kaj, 2015. "Ethnic divisions, political institutions and the duration of declines," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112863, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Barnes, Michele L. & Arita, Shawn & Kalberg, Kolter & Leung, PingSun, 2017. "When does it pay to cooperate? Strategic information exchange in the harvest of common-pool fishery resources," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 1-11.
    11. Virgi Sari, 2018. "Educational assistance and education quality in Indonesia: The role of decentralization," WIDER Working Paper Series 037, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Remi Jedwab & Adam Storeygard, "undated". "Economic and Political Factors in Infrastructure Investment: Evidence from Railroads and Roads in Africa 1960–2015," Working Papers 2017-3, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    13. repec:eee:deveco:v:133:y:2018:i:c:p:231-263 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • L73 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Forest Products

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