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A Generalized Index of Fractionalization

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • BOSSERT, Walter & D’AMBROSIO, Conchita & LA FERRARA, Eliana, 2008. "A Generalized Index of Fractionalization," Cahiers de recherche 2008-01, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2008-01
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/2214
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2015. "Cultural Diversity - A Matter of Measurement," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1502, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    2. Desmet, Klaus & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2009. "The Political Economy of Ethnolinguistic Cleavages," CEPR Discussion Papers 7478, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber & Sheila Weyers, 2011. "The economics of literary translation: Some theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/151569, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2017. "Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(9), pages 2479-2513, September.
    5. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2014. "Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 3, pages 121-176 Elsevier.
    6. Davydov, Denis & Weber, Shlomo, 2016. "A simple characterization of the family of diversity indices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 121-123.
    7. Desmet, Klaus & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2012. "The political economy of linguistic cleavages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 322-338.
    8. Trax, Michaela & Brunow, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens, 2015. "Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 85-96.
    9. Tequame Miron, 2012. "HIV, Risky Behavior and Ethno-linguistic Heterogeneity," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(6), pages 606-632, December.
    10. Philipp Kolo, 2016. "A dissimilarity-adjusted index of ethnic diversity: Measurement and implications for findings on conflict, growth and trade," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 195, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    11. Hao, Yu & Xue, Melanie Meng, 2017. "Friends from afar: The Taiping Rebellion, cultural proximity and primary schooling in the Lower Yangzi, 1850–1949," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 44-69.
    12. Javier Mejia, 2018. "Social Interactions and Modern Economic Growth," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 016379, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    13. Olaf De Groot, 2011. "Culture, Contiguity and Conflict: On the Measurement of Ethnolinguistic Effects in Spatial Spillovers," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(3), pages 436-454.
    14. Iñaki Permanyer & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2015. "Measuring Social Polarization with Ordinal and Categorical Data," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(3), pages 311-327, June.
    15. Bellani, Luna & Scervini, Francesco, 2015. "Heterogeneous preferences and in-kind redistribution: Theory and evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 196-219.
    16. Mele, Angelo, 2013. "Poisson indices of segregation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 65-85.
    17. repec:spr:metron:v:75:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40300-017-0112-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Stichnoth, Holger & van der Straeten, Karine, 2009. "Ethnic diversity and attitudes towards redistribution: a review of the literature," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-036, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    19. Parhi, Mamata & Diebolt, Claude & Mishra, Tapas & Gupta, Prashant, 2013. "Convergence dynamics of output: Do stochastic shocks and social polarization matter?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 42-51.
    20. Kyle L. Marquardt & Yoshiko M. Herrera, 2015. "Ethnicity as a Variable: An Assessment of Measures and Data Sets of Ethnicity and Related Identities," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 96(3), pages 689-716, September.
    21. Nicholas Rohde & Ross Guest, 2013. "Multidimensional Racial Inequality in the United States," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 591-605, November.
    22. Philipp Kolo, 2012. "Measuring a New Aspect of Ethnicity - The Appropriate Diversity Index," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 221, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    23. Satya Chakravarty & Bhargav Maharaj, 2012. "Ethnic polarization orderings and indices," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 7(1), pages 99-123, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Diversity; Similarity; Ethno-Linguistic Fractionalization.;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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