NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Political Economy of Heterogeneity and Conflict

Enrico Spolaore, Romain Wacziarg

NBER Working Paper No. 23278
Issued in March 2017
NBER Program(s):Public Economics, Political Economy

We present a conceptual framework linking cultural heterogeneity to inter-group conflict. When conflict is about control of public goods, more heterogeneous groups are expected to fight more with each other. In contrast, when conflict is about rival goods, more similar groups are more likely to engage in war with each other. We formalize these ideas within an analytical model and discuss recent empirical studies that are consistent with the model's implications.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23278

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