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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Diversity and Conflict

Cemal Eren Arbatlı, Quamrul H. Ashraf, Oded Galor, Marc Klemp

NBER Working Paper No. 21079
Issued in April 2015, Revised in November 2018
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Political Economy

This research advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that interpersonal population diversity has contributed significantly to the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrasocietal conflicts. Exploiting an exogenous source of variations in population diversity across nations and ethnic groups, it demonstrates that population diversity, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, has contributed significantly to the risk and intensity of historical and contemporary civil conflicts. The findings arguably reflect the adverse effect of population diversity on interpersonal trust, its contribution to divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies, and its impact on the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21079

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