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Ethnic conflict: the role of ethnic representation


  • Sonia Bhalotra
  • Irma Clots-Figueras
  • Lakshmi Iyer


We investigate the impact of the political representation of minority groups on the incidence of ethnic conflict in India. We code data on Hindu-Muslim violence and Muslim political representation in India and leverage quasi-random variation in legislator religion generated by the results of close elections. We find that the presence of Muslim legislators results in a large and significant decline in Hindu-Muslim conflict. The average result is driven by richer states and those with greater police strength.

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  • Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer, 2023. "Ethnic conflict: the role of ethnic representation," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2023-84, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2023-84

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer & Joseph Vecci, 2023. "Leader Identity and Coordination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 175-189, January.
    2. Kumar Das, Pranab & Kar, Saibal & Kayal, Madhumanti, 2011. "Religious Minorities and Provision of Public Goods: Evidence from Rural West Bengal," IZA Discussion Papers 6154, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    More about this item


    Conflict; Violence; Religion; political representation; Elections;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics

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