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Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation

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Abstract

Despite the importance attributed to the effects of diversity on the stability and prosperity of nations, the origins of the uneven distribution of ethnic and cultural fragmentation across countries have been underexplored. Building on the role of deeply-rooted biogeographical forces in comparative development, this research empirically demonstrates that genetic diversity, predominantly determined during the prehistoric "out of Africa" migration of humans, is an underlying cause of various existing manifestations of ethnolinguistic heterogeneity. Further exploration of this uncharted territory may revolutionize the understanding of the effects of deeply-rooted factors on economic development and the composition of human capital across the globe.

Suggested Citation

  • Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation," Department of Economics Working Papers 2015-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2015-06
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    1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2013. "How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 325-369, June.
    2. Desmet, Klaus & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2012. "The political economy of linguistic cleavages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 322-338.
    3. Fearon, James D, 2003. "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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