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The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Theory and Evidence

Stelios Michalopoulos ()

No 725, Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University from Department of Economics, Tufts University

Abstract: This research examines theoretically and empirically the economic origins of ethnolinguistic diversity. The empirical analysis constructs detailed data on the distribution of land qualtiy and elevation across contiguous regions, virtual and real countries, and shows that variation in elevation and land quality has contributed significantly to the emergence and persistence of ethnic fractionalization. The empirical and historical evidence support the theoretical analysis, according to which heterogenous land endowments generated region specific human capital, liminting population mobility and leading to the formation of localized ethnicities and languages. The research contributes to the understanding of the emergence of ethnicities and languages. The research contributes to the understanding of the emergence of ethnicities and their spatial distribution and offers a distinction between the natural, georgraphically driven, versus the artificial, man-made, components of contemporary ethnic diversity.

Keywords: Ethnic Diversity; Geography; Technological Process; Human Capital; Colonization. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O11 O12 O15 O33 O40 J20 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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