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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by John Coleman

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March 2006On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict
with Francesco Caselli: w12125
We present a theory of ethnic conflict in which coalitions formed along ethnic lines compete for the economy%u2019s resources. The role of ethnicity is to enforce coalition membership: in ethnically homogeneous societies members of the losing coalition can defect to the winners at low cost, and this rules out conflict as an equilibrium outcome. We derive a number of implications of the model relating social, political, and economic indicators such as the incidence of conflict, the distance among ethnic groups, group sizes, income inequality, and expropriable resources.

Published: Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2013. "On The Theory Of Ethnic Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 161-192, 01. citation courtesy of

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