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Ethnicity and conflict : an empirical study
Esteban, Joan; Mayoral, Laura; Ray, Debraj
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica; Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica
This paper examines the impact of ethnic divisions on conflict. The analysis relies on a theoretical model of conflict (Esteban and Ray, 2010) in which equilibrium conflict is shown to be accurately described by a linear function of just three distributional indices of ethnic diversity: the Gini coefficient, the Hirschman-Herfindahl fractionalization index, and a measure of polarization. Based on a dataset constructed by James Fearon and data from Ethnologue on ethno-linguistic groups and the "linguistic distances" between them, we compute the three distribution indices. Our results show that ethnic polarization is a highly significant correlate of conflict. Fractionalization is also significant in some of the statistical exercises, but the Gini coefficient never is. In particular, inter-group distances computed from language and embodied in polarization measures turn out to be extremely important correlates of ethnic conflict.
Relacions ètniques -- Models matemàtics
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Working Paper
Working papers; 840.10

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