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The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Theory and Evidence

  • Stelios Michalopoulos

This research examines theoretically and empirically the economic origins of ethnolinguistic diversity. The empirical analysis constructs detailed data on the distribution of land qualtiy 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 heterogenous land endowments generated region specific human capital, liminting population mobility and leading to the formation of localized ethnicities and languages. The research contributes to the understanding of the emergence of 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, georgraphically driven, versus the artificial, man-made, components of contemporary ethnic diversity.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/research/documents/2008/michalopoulosOrigins.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0725.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0725
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  1. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEP Discussion Papers dp0732, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Curtin,Philip D., 1984. "Cross-Cultural Trade in World History," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521269315, Junio.
  3. Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2006. "Poverty Traps, Distance and Diversity: The Migration Connection," CEPR Discussion Papers 5891, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
  5. Louis Putterman & Valerie Bockstette, 2000. "States and Markets:the Advantage of an Early Start," Working Papers 2000-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Quamrul Ashraf & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2010. "The Climatic Origins of the Neolithic Revolution: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0751, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
  9. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "The Roots of Ethnic Diversity," Working Papers in Economics 281, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2008. "On the Salience of Ethnic Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2185-2202, December.
  12. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
  13. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
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