Monday, August 5, 2013

Ethnic Diversity

See Section 5.2 of Alesina and La Ferrara (2005) for a survey of different measures of ethnic diversity. For more recent discussions in relation to civil wars, see Cederman and Girardin (2007) and Fearon, Kasara, and Laitin (2007).

1. Ethnolinguistic fragmentation index

First brought into economics by Mauro (1995)

See Easterly and Levine (1997), whose dataset is available here.

Criticised by Alesina et al. (2003), Fearon (2003), and Posner (2004).

2. Ethnic fractionalization index

Proposed by Alesina et al. (2003)

Found to be robustly correlated with the degree of insulation of political leader (see Aghion et al. 2004)

Criticised by Posner (2004) (see footnote 10)

3. Linguistic fractionalization index

Proposed by Alesina et al. (2003)

4. Ethnic polarization index

Proposed by Montalvo and Reynal-Querol (2005a), who apply the polarization index proposed by Esteban and Ray (1994), and shown to be correlated with incidence of civil wars.

The dataset is available at American Economic Review website (see Montalvo and Reynal-Querol's article).

Also found to be correlated with the degree of insulation of political leaders by Aghion et al. (2004)

5. Linguistic heterogeneity index (updated on 24 Nov and 6 Dec 2011)

Desmet, Ortuno-Ortin, and Wacziarg (2012) propose a measure of linguistic diversity at different levels of linguistic aggregation, based on language trees from the Ethnologue data. The data is available from Wacziarg's website (click Research).

Esteban, Mayoral, and Ray (2011) use the same Ethnologue data to calculate the distance between two linguistic groups for obtaining a polarization index that is more general than the one by Montalvo and Reynal-Querol (2005) described above (in which the distance between any two groups is set to be one).

6. Proportion of the population in African countries whose ethnic group lives in other countries as well

Constructed by Englebert (2000)

Treated as the measure of legitimacy of African states over their population

Data and codebook is downloadable at Englebert's website.

7. Ethnopolitical group indices

Developed by Scarritt, James and Shaheen Mozaffar. 1999. “The Specification of Ethnic
Cleavages and Ethnopolitical Groupsfor the Analysis of Democratic Competition
in Contemporary Africa.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 5(1).

Used by Scarritt, Mozaffar, and Galaich (2003) and Bllimpo, Harding, and Wantchekon (2013) "Public Investment in Rural Infrastructure: Some Political Economy Considerations" (forthcoming in Journal of African Economies, Forthcoming).


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