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Measuring Ethno-Linguistic Affinity between Nations

Olaf de Groot ()

No 921, Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin from DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research

Abstract: Research on ethno-linguistic ties has so far mostly focused on domestic measures of ethno-linguistic heterogeneity. Little attention has been given to the possibility that ethno-linguistic relations between countries may affect out- comes, particularly in a spatial econometric context. In this paper, I propose a way of measuring Ethno-Linguistic Affinity between nations. This new index measures the degree of similarity two randomly drawn individuals from two different populations can be expected to display. I show that this measure has a number of attractive theoretical characteristics, which make it particularly useful and continue to actually construct such a measure for all countries in Africa. Finally, using this measure of Ethno-Linguistic Affinity, I show that civil conflict in Africa is likely to spill over between contiguous ethno-linguistically similar countries.

Keywords: Ethno-Linguistic heterogeneity; spatial econometrics; conflict; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 F51 O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29 p.
Date: 2009
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr
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