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A Generalized Index of Fractionalization

  • BOSSERT, Walter
  • D’AMBROSIO, Conchita
  • LA FERRARA, Eliana

The goal of this paper is to contribute to the economic literature on ethnic and cultural diversity by proposing a new index that is informationally richer and more flexible than the commonly used ‘ethno-linguistic fractionalization’ (ELF) index. We characterize a measure of diversity among individuals that takes as a primitive the individuals, as opposed to ethnic groups, and uses information on the extent of similarity among them. Compared to existing indices, our measure does not require that individuals are pre-assigned to exogenously determined categories or groups. We show that our generalized index is a natural extension of ELF and is also simple to compute. We also provide an empirical illustration of how our index can be operationalized and what difference it makes as compared to the standard ELF index. This application pertains to the pattern of fractionalization in the United States.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/2214
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Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2008-01.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2008-01
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  2. DESMET, Klaus & ORTUNO-ORTIN, Ignacio & WEBER, Shlomo, 2005. "Peripheral diversity and redistribution," CORE Discussion Papers 2005044, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  8. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
  9. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
  10. 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.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
  12. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/42, European University Institute.
  13. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-94, June.
  15. Prasanta K. Pattanaik & Yongsheng Xu,, . "On Diversity and Freedom of Choice," Discussion Papers 97/18, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
  16. BOSSERT, Walter & PATTANAIK, Prasanta K. & XU, Yongsheng, 2001. "The Measurement of Diversity," Cahiers de recherche 2001-17, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  17. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
  19. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  20. Giuliano, Paola, 2006. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 2042, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 10313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Giuliano, Paola & Spilimbergo, Antonio & Tonon, Giovanni, 2006. "Genetic, Cultural and Geographical Distances," IZA Discussion Papers 2229, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  26. repec:hrv:faseco:4553034 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Fearon, James D, 2003. "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
  28. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "The Noah's Ark Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1279-1298, November.
  29. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  30. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
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