Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities

32 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2013

See all articles by Rachel Glennerster

Rachel Glennerster

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Department of Economics

Edward Miguel

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alexander D. Rothenberg

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Date Written: May 2013

Abstract

Scholars have identified ethnic divisions as a leading cause of underdevelopment, due partially to their adverse effects on public goods. We investigate this issue in post‐war Sierra Leone, one of the world's poorest and most ethnically diverse countries. To address concerns over endogenous local ethnic composition, we use an instrumental variables strategy using earlier census data on ethnicity and include several historical and geographic covariates. Perhaps surprisingly, we find that local diversity is not associated with worse public goods provision across multiple outcomes and specifications, with precisely estimated zeros. We investigate the role of historical factors in generating the findings.

Suggested Citation

Glennerster, Rachel and Miguel, Edward and Rothenberg, Alexander D., Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities (May 2013). The Economic Journal, Vol. 123, Issue 568, pp. 285-316, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2257136 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12030

Rachel Glennerster

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Department of Economics ( email )

E60-246
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Edward Miguel

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Alexander D. Rothenberg

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th and C Streets NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

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