Diversity and Conflict
This research advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that interpersonal population diversity, rather than fractionalization or polarization across ethnic groups, has been pivotal to the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrasocietal conflicts. Exploiting an exogenous source of variations in population diversity across nations and ethnic groups, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, the study demonstrates that population diversity, and its impact on the degree of diversity within ethnic groups, has contributed significantly to the risk and intensity of historical and contemporary civil conflicts. The findings arguably reflect the contribution of population diversity to the non-cohesivnesss of society, as reflected partly in the prevalence of mistrust, the divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies, and the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.
We thank the editor, four anonymous referees, Ran Abramitzky, Alberto Alesina, Yann Algan, Sascha Becker, Moshe Buchinsky, Matteo Cervellati, Carl-Johan Dalgaard, David de la Croix, Emilio Depetris-Chauvin, Paul Dower, Joan Esteban, James Fenske, Raquel Fernandez, Boris Gershman, Avner Greif, Pauline Grosjean, Elhanan Helpman, Murat Iyigun, Noel Johnson, Garett Jones, Mark Koyama, Stelios Michalopoulos, Steven Nafziger, Nathan Nunn, John Nye, Omer Ozak, Elias Papaioannou, Sergey Popov, Stephen Smith, Enrico Spolaore, Uwe Sunde, Mathias Thoenig, Nico Voigtlander, Joachim Voth, Romain Wacziarg, Fabian Waldinger, David Weil, Ludger Woessmann, Noam Yuchtman, Alexei Zakharov, and seminar participants at George Mason University, George Washington University, HSE/NES Moscow, the AEA Annual Meeting, the conference on "Deep Determinants of International Comparative Development" at Brown University, the workshop on "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics" at the NBER Summer Institute, the conference on "Culture, Diversity, and Development" at HSE/NES Moscow, the conference on "The Long Shadow of History: Mechanisms of Persistence in Economics and the Social Sciences" at LMU Munich, the fall meeting of the NBER Political Economy Program, the session on "Economic Growth" at the AEA Continuing Education Program, the workshop on "Biology and Behavior in Political Economy" at HSE Moscow, and the Economic Workshop at IDC Herzliya for valuable comments. Steven Brownstone, Gregory Casey, Ashwin Narayan, Daniel Prinz, and Jeffrey Wang provided excellent research assistance. Arbatli acknowledges research support from the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE). Ashraf acknowledges research support from the NSF (SES-1338738), the Hellman Fellows Program, and the Oakley Center for Humanities and Social Sciences at Williams College. Galor acknowledges research support from the NSF (SES-1338426) and the Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC) at Brown University. The PSTC receives core support from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (5R24HD041020). Klemp acknowledges research support from the Carlsberg Foundation, the Danish Research Council (grant numbers 1329-00093 and 1327-00245), and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sk lodowska-Curie Global Fellowship grant agreement number 753615). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Cemal Eren Arbatlı & Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2020. "Diversity and Conflict," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 727-797, March. citation courtesy of