A Generalized Index of Fractionalization

28 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2011

See all articles by Walter Bossert

Walter Bossert

CIREQ

Conchita D'Ambrosio

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS)

Eliana La Ferrara

University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: October 2011

Abstract

This paper characterizes an index that is informationally richer than the commonly used ethno‐linguistic fractionalization (ELF) index. Our measure of fractionalization takes as a primitive the individuals, as opposed to ethnic groups, and uses information on the similarities among them. Compared to existing indices, our measure does not require that individuals are pre‐assigned to exogenously determined categories or groups. We provide an empirical illustration of how our index can be operationalized and what difference it makes as compared to the standard ELF index. This application pertains to the pattern of fractionalization in the USA.

Suggested Citation

Bossert, Walter and D'Ambrosio, Conchita and La Ferrara, Eliana, A Generalized Index of Fractionalization (October 2011). Economica, Vol. 78, Issue 312, pp. 723-750, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1930774 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2010.00844.x

Walter Bossert (Contact Author)

CIREQ ( email )

C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-Ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7
Canada

Conchita D'Ambrosio

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Eliana La Ferrara

University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER) ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy
+39 02 5836 3328 (Phone)
+39 02 5836 3302 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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