On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Wilbur John Coleman II
Duke University, Fuqua School of Business-Economics Group
CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5622
We present a theory of ethnic conflict in which coalitions formed along ethnic lines compete for the economy's resources. The role of ethnicity is to enforce coalition membership: in ethnically homogeneous societies members of the losing coalition can defect to the winners at low cost, and this rules out conflict as an equilibrium outcome. We derive a number of implications of the model relating social, political, and economic indicators such as the incidence of conflict, the distance among ethnic groups, group sizes, income inequality, and expropriable resources.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: Ethnic distance, exploitation
JEL Classification: P48, Q34, Z13working papers series
Date posted: July 5, 2006
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