Social fragmentation and economic growth: Evidence from developing countries

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This paper proposes a composite measure of ethnic fragmentation, the Social Diversity Index (SDI) to capture inherent multidimensionality not captured in the prevalent Ethno-Linguistic Fractionalization Index (ELF). The SDI more accurately demonstrates the direct effects of hidden diversity values and the extent and corresponding costs of ethnic diversity on economic growth. A comparative empirical analysis of the results from 132 countries employing the SDI and the ELF Index, suggests that the SDI is more robustly correlated with growth, and does a moderately better job of explaining the effect of exogenous static ethnic diversity. However, the empirical effects of ethnic diversity on growth tend to diminish with the inclusion of additional macroeconomic variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-104
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Institutional Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


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