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Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country*

Abstract

For their empirical evaluation, several active research programs in economics and political science require data on ethnic groups across countries. “Ethnic group,” however, is a slippery concept. After addressing conceptual and practical obstacles, I present a list of 822 ethnic groups in 160 countries that made up at least 1 percent of the country population in the early 1990s. I compare a measure of ethnic fractionalization based on this list with the most commonly used measure. I also construct an index of cultural fractionalization that uses the structural distance between languages as a proxy for the cultural distance between groups in a country.

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Fearon, J.D. Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country*. Journal of Economic Growth 8, 195–222 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024419522867

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024419522867

  • ethnic heterogeneity
  • cultural diversity
  • fractionalization
  • economic growth