Ethnic Segregation and Public Goods: Evidence from Indonesia

55 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2017

See all articles by Yuhki Tajima

Yuhki Tajima

Georgetown University - Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS)

Krislert Samphantharak

University of California, San Diego - School of Global Policy and Strategy

Kai Ostwald

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Date Written: July 6, 2017

Abstract

This article contributes to the study of ethnic diversity and public goods provision by assessing the role of the spatial distribution of ethnic groups. Through a new theory that we call spatial interdependence, we argue that the segregation of ethnic groups can reduce or even neutralize the “diversity penalty” in public goods provision beyond what can be explained by ethnic fractionalization alone. This is because local segregation allows communities to use disparities in the level of public goods in other communities in the same administrative area as leverage when advocating for more public goods for themselves. We test this prediction on highly disaggregated data from Indonesia and find strong support that, controlling for ethnic fractionalization, segregated communities have higher levels of public goods. This has an important and underexplored implication: decentralization disadvantages integrated communities vis-a-vis their more segregated counterparts. Redistributive intervention from the center can counter this source of inequality.

Keywords: Ethnicity, Segregation, Public Goods, Indonesia

JEL Classification: O53, R53

Suggested Citation

Tajima, Yuhki and Samphantharak, Krislert and Ostwald, Kai, Ethnic Segregation and Public Goods: Evidence from Indonesia (July 6, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3001672 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3001672

Yuhki Tajima (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Krislert Samphantharak

University of California, San Diego - School of Global Policy and Strategy ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States
858-534-3939 (Fax)

Kai Ostwald

University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

1855 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.kaiostwald.me

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