Ethnicity and Conflict: an Empirical Study

Recognition Program

Authors: Joan-Maria Esteban, Laura Mayoral and Debraj Ray

American Economic Review, Vol. 102, No 4, 1310--1342, January, 2012

We examine empirically the impact of ethnic divisions on conflict, by using a specification based on Esteban and Ray (2011). That theory links conflict intensity to three indices of ethnic distribution: polarization, fractionalization, and the Gini-Greenberg index. The empirical analysis verifies that these distributional measures are significant correlates of conflict. These effects persist as we introduce countryspecific measures of group cohesion and of the importance of public goods, and combine them with the distributional measures exactly as described by the theory.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona GSE Working Paper 482
This paper is acknowledged by the Barcelona GSE Research Recognition Program