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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. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  2. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEP Discussion Papers dp0732, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Quamrul Ashraf & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2010. "The Climatic Origins of the Neolithic Revolution: Theory and Evidence," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 146, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  4. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2006. "From Farmers to Merchants, Voluntary Conversions and Diaspora: A Human Capital Interpretation of Jewish History," CEPR Discussion Papers 6006, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2008. "On the Salience of Ethnic Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2185-2202, December.
  7. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2006. "The Diffusion of Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
  9. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2006. "Poverty Traps, Distance, and Diversity: The Migration Connection," NBER Working Papers 12549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "The Roots of Ethnic Diversity," Working Papers in Economics 281, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521269315 is not listed on IDEAS
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