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Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries


Alberto F. Alesina


Harvard University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya


Paris School of Economics; New Economic School

January 15, 2010

American Economic Review, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
This paper has four goals. The first, and perhaps the most important, is to provide a new compilation of data on ethnic, linguistic and religious composition at the sub-national level for a large number of countries. This data set allows us to measure segregation of different ethnic, religious and linguistic groups within the same country. The second goal is to correlate measures of segregation with measures of quality of the polity and policymaking. The third is to construct an instrument that helps to overcome the endogeneity problem that arises both because groups may move within a country in response to policies, and because governments determine the borders of sub-national regions. We find that more ethnically and linguistically segregated countries, i.e., those where groups live more spatially separately, have a substantially lower quality of government. In contrast, we find no relationship between religious segregation and the quality of government. Finally, we provide evidence that trust is an important mediating factor between segregation and the quality of government. Generalized trust is lower in more segregated countries.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 69

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Date posted: August 12, 2008 ; Last revised: June 18, 2010

Suggested Citation

Alesina, Alberto F. and Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries (January 15, 2010). American Economic Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1220263 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1220263

Contact Information

Alberto F. Alesina
Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )
Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-8388 (Phone)
617-495-7730 (Fax)
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Ekaterina V. Zhuravskaya (Contact Author)
Paris School of Economics ( email )
48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France
New Economic School ( email )
47 Nakhimovsky Prospekt
Moscow, 117418
Russia
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