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Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity

Klaus Desmet (), Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín and Romain Wacziarg ()

American Economic Review, 2017, vol. 107, issue 9, 2479-2513

Abstract: We investigate the empirical relationship between ethnicity and culture, defined as a vector of traits reflecting norms, values, and attitudes. Using survey data for 76 countries, we find that ethnic identity is a significant predictor of cultural values, yet that within-group variation in culture trumps between-group variation. Thus, in contrast to a commonly held view, ethnic and cultural diversity are unrelated. Although only a small portion of a country's overall cultural heterogeneity occurs between groups, we find that various political economy outcomes (such as civil conflict and public goods provision) worsen when there is greater overlap between ethnicity and culture.

JEL-codes: D74 H41 J15 O15 O17 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20150243
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Working Paper: Culture, Ethnicity and Diversity (2015) Downloads
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