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An ethnic polarization measure with an application to Ivory Coast data


  • Paul Makdissi

    () (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa)

  • Thierry Roy

    () (GRÉDI, Université de Sherbrooke)

  • Luc Savard

    () (GRÉDI, Université de Sherbrooke)


In this paper, we suggest a framework for the analysis of ethnic polarization. This framework allows for the measurement of ethnic or religious polarization. We apply our measure to Ivory Coast and find a surprising result as the ethnic polarization decreased in years preceding the conflict in the country. However, further decomposition of the ethnic polarization index allows us to understand better how the variation in polarization may have induced this conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Makdissi & Thierry Roy & Luc Savard, 2008. "An ethnic polarization measure with an application to Ivory Coast data," Working Papers 0806E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:0806e

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joan Esteban & Carlos Gradín & Debraj Ray, 2007. "An Extension of a Measure of Polarization, with an application to the income distribution of five OECD countries," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, April.
    2. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1737-1772, November.
    3. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2011. "A Model Of Ethnic Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 496-521, June.
    4. Wolfson, Michael C, 1997. "Divergent Inequalities: Theory and Empirical Results," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 401-421, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Azomahou, Théophile T. & Diene, Mbaye, 2012. "Polarization patterns in economic development and innovation," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 421-436.
    2. Azomahou, Theophile & Diene, Mbaye, 2012. "Income polarization and innovation: Evidence from African economies," MERIT Working Papers 048, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item


    Ethnic polarization; Conflict; Ivory Coast;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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