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The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Theory and Evidence

  • Michalopoulos, Stelios

This research examines theoretically and empirically the economic origins of ethnolinguistic diversity. The empirical analysis constructs detailed data on the distribution of land quality and elevation across contiguous regions, virtual and real countries, and shows that variation in elevation and land quality has contributed �significantly to the emergence and persistence of ethnic fractionalization. The empirical and historical evidence support the theoretical analysis, according to which heterogeneous land endowments generated region specific� human capital, limiting population mobility and leading to the formation of localized ethnicities and languages. The research contributes to the understanding of the emergence of ethnicities and their spatial distribution and offers a distinction between the natural, geographically driven, versus the artificial, man-made, components of contemporary ethnic diversity.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/11531/1/MPRA_paper_11531.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11531.

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Date of creation: 19 Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11531
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  1. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "The Roots of Ethnic Diversity," Working Papers in Economics 281, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, 2006. "From Farmers to Merchants, Voluntary Conversion and Diaspora: A Human Capital Interpretation of Jewish History," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 2, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2006. "The Diffusion of Development," NBER Working Papers 12153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2008. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 08-08, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  6. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2006. "Poverty Traps, Distance, and Diversity: The Migration Connection," NBER Working Papers 12549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2008. "On the Salience of Ethnic Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2185-2202, December.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521269315 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  10. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. " States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-69, December.
  11. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-17, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  12. Ashraf, Quamrul & Michalopoulos, Stelios, 2010. "The Climatic Origins of the Neolithic Revolution: Theory and Evidence," MPRA Paper 23137, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
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