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Diversity and Conflict

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Abstract

This research advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that interpersonal population diversity, rather than fractionalization or polarization across ethnic groups, has been pivotal to the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrasocietal conflicts. Exploiting an exogenous source of variations in population diversity across nations and ethnic groups, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, the study demonstrates that population diversity, and its impact on the degree of diversity within ethnic groups, has contributed significantly to the risk and intensity of historical and contemporary civil conflicts. The findings arguably reflect the contribution of population diversity to the non-cohesivnesss of society, as reflected partly in the prevalence of mistrust, the divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies, and the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.

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  • Cemal Eren Arbatli & Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2019. "Diversity and Conflict," Department of Economics Working Papers 2019-10, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2019-10
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    Keywords

    Social conflict; population diversity; ethnic fractionalization; ethnic polarization; interpersonal trust; political preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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