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On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict

  • Francesco Caselli
  • Wilbur John Coleman II

We present a theory of ethnic conflict in which coalitions formed along ethnic lines compete for the economy%u2019s resources. The role of ethnicity is to enforce coalition membership: in ethnically homogeneous societies members of the losing coalition can defect to the winners at low cost, and this rules out conflict as an equilibrium outcome. We derive a number of implications of the model relating social, political, and economic indicators such as the incidence of conflict, the distance among ethnic groups, group sizes, income inequality, and expropriable resources.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12125.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Publication status: published as Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2013. "On The Theory Of Ethnic Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 161-192, 01.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12125
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