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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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    Cited by:

    1. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2018. "Interpersonal Diversity and Socioeconomic Disparities Across Populations: A Reply to Rosenberg and Kang," Working Papers 2018-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    2. Enrico Spolaore, 2014. "The Political Economy of European Integration," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0778, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    3. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2018. "The Origins of the Division of Labor in Pre-modern Times," Departmental Working Papers 1803, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 101-138, June.
    5. Gershman, Boris, 2016. "Witchcraft beliefs and the erosion of social capital: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 182-208.
    6. Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio & Özak, Ömer, 2015. "Population Diversity, Division of Labor and the Emergence of Trade and State," MPRA Paper 69565, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Seiffert, Sebastian Daniel & Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2016. "Gun Violence in the US: Correlates and Causes," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145946, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
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    11. Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio & Özak, Ömer, 2016. "Population Diversity, Division of Labor and Comparative Development," MPRA Paper 70503, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item

    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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