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A Generalized Index of Fractionalization

Listed author(s):
  • 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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Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 01-2008.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:01-2008
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  1. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
  2. Klaus Nehring & Clemens Puppe, 2002. "A Theory of Diversity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1155-1198, May.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2002. "Fractionalization," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1959, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    • Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    • Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    • Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/229724, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    • Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," NBER Working Papers 9411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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  6. Pattanaik, Prasanta K. & Xu, Yongsheng, 2000. "On diversity and freedom of choice," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 123-130, September.
  7. Walter Bossert & Prasanta K. Pattanaik & Yongsheng Xu, 2003. "Similarity of Options and the Measurement of Diversity," Journal of Theoretical Politics, SAGE Publishing, vol. 15(4), pages 405-421, October.
  8. Paola Giuliano, 2005. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," 2005 Meeting Papers 189, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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 & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 10313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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).
  13. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2006. "The Diffusion of Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. 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.
  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. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, "undated". "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  18. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2005. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange," 2005 Meeting Papers 234, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. 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.
  20. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
  21. Martin L. Weitzman, 1992. "On Diversity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 363-405.
  22. 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.
  23. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
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  27. repec:hrv:faseco:4553034 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. 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.
  29. Fearon, James D, 2003. "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
  30. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  31. Giuliano, Paola & Spilimbergo, Antonio & Tonon, Giovanni, 2006. "Genetic, Cultural and Geographical Distances," CEPR Discussion Papers 5807, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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