Ethnicity and Development

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Ethnicity and Development Dr. Rachel M. Gisselquist [email protected] Why Consider ethnicity? “Those who study modern Africa commonly highlight three features: its…
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Ethnicity and Development Dr. Rachel M. Gisselquist [email protected] Why Consider ethnicity?
  • “Those who study modern Africa commonly highlight three features: its poverty, its instability, and its ethnic diversity. Whether in lurid popularizations … or in social scientific research … scholars reason that Africa is poor because it is unstable and that its instability derives from its ethnic complexity. Ethnicity thus lies, it is held, at the root of Africa’s development crises” (Bates 2000, 131).
  • “High ethnic diversity is closely associated with low schooling, underdeveloped financial systems, distorted foreign exchange markets, and insufficient infrastructure” (Easterly & Levine 1997, 1241).
  • Outline
  • Ethnicityand ethnic diversity
  • Snapshots of ethnic diversity in Africa
  • Definitions. What is an ethnic group?
  • Challenges of measurement. Are Easterly & Levine’s numbers right?
  • Relationship between ethnic diversity and development
  • Conflict
  • Public goods provision
  • How to minimize the impact of ethnic divisions
  • Institutions
  • Nation-building
  • I. ethnicity and Ethnic diversity Ethnic diversity in Africa: snapshots Ethnic Diversity Across world Regions most diverse COUNTRY?
  • Alesina et al. 2003:
  • ELF: 0.9302
  • Groups:
  • Ganda17.80%
  • Teso8.90%
  • Nkole8.20%
  • Soga8.20%
  • Gisu7.20%
  • Chiga6.80%
  • Lango6.00%
  • Rwanda5.80%
  • Least Diverse Country?
  • Alesina et al. 2003:
  • ELF: 0.000
  • Groups:
  • Comorian 100.00%
  • What is Ethnicity? Definitions
  • A. Smith, The Ethnic Revival in the Modern World (1981)
  • The “ethnie” or “ethnic community” is “a social group whose members share a sense of common origins, claim a common and distinctive history and destiny, possess one or more distinctive characteristics, and feel a sense of collective uniqueness and solidarity” (p. 66)
  • D. Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in Conflict (1985):
  • An ascriptive identity generally inherited at birth and including language, tribe, caste, race, religion, region
  • What is ethnicity?Examples
  • Finn, Swede, Roma in Finland
  • “Black” and “White” in the US
  • Flemish and Walloon in Belgium
  • Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa in Nigeria
  • Quechua and Aymara in Bolivia
  • Hindus and Muslims in India
  • Northern and Southern in Sudan
  • “Arab” and “African” in Sudan
  • Dinka and Nuerin Sudan
  • Challenges of Measurement
  • 1) Which ethnic divisions should we include?
  • Example: India
  • “Linguistic” fractionalization: 0.8069
  • 61 groups (48 with < 1% to Hindi-speakers 40%)
  • “Ethnic” fractionalization: 0.4182
  • Indo-Aryan (72%), Dravidian (25%), “Other” (3%)
  • “Religious” fractionalization: 0.3260
  • Hindu (81.5%), Sunni Muslim (9%), Shii Muslim (3%), Sikh (1.9%), Protestant (1.1%), Roman Catholic (1.1%), Buddhist (0.8%), Jain (0.4%), Zoroastrian (0.01%), Other 1.3%)
  • How about “politically salient” ethnic groups?
  • D. Posner, “Measuring Ethnic Fractionalization in Africa,” AJPS, 2004:
  • Burundi: 0.26 in “PREG” vs. 0.04 in “ELF” vs. 0.30 in Alesina
  • Cote d’Ivoire: 0.49 vs. 0.86 vs. 0.82
  • Ghana: 0.44 vs. 0.71 vs. 0.67
  • Kenya: 0.57 vs. 0.83 vs. 0.86
  • Nigeria: 0.66 vs. 0.87 vs. 0.85
  • Tanzania: 0.59 vs. 0.93 (most fractionalized) vs. 0.74
  • Other Challenges of measurement
  • 2) What about changes over time?
  • Easterly & Levine (1997) uses data from 1964!
  • What about migration, differential birth rates, redefinition of groups?
  • 3) What measure of “diversity” is most appropriate?
  • Easterly & Levine (1997): fractionalization:
  • Bates (2000): size of the largest ethnic group
  • Minorities at Risk?
  • Montalvo & Reynal-Querol (2005): index of polarization
  • Other measures?
  • II. Relationship between Ethnic diversity and Development Findings from the Readings…
  • Easterly & Levine (1997)…
  • “High ethnic diversity is closely associated with low schooling, underdeveloped financial systems, distorted foreign exchange markets, and insufficient infrastructure” (p. 1241).
  • Bates (2000)… “(i) by providing political structures that render credible implicit contracts between generations, ethnic groups promote the formation of human capital; and (ii) ethnic diversity does not imply political violence (although the reverse may be true)” (p. 131)
  • Some Specific Linkages…
  • “Bad” Outcomes:
  • Lower level of investment
  • Lower provision of public goods
  • Ethnic violence
  • Lower levels of trust
  • Lower quality of government
  • Polarization of the electorate
  • Poor policy choices
  • Others?
  • “Good” Outcomes:
  • Formation of social capital
  • Diverse views and experience
  • International linkages
  • Others?
  • Ethnic diversity & conflict 1
  • Easterly and Levine 1997: “Claude Ake, argues that a ‘conflict among nationalities, ethnic groups, and communal and interest groups’ broke out after the independence of African nations. The resulting ‘struggle for power was so absorbing that everything else, including development, was marginalized’” (p. 1214)
  • Examples from recent news:
  • Sudan and South Sudan
  • Kenya
  • Ethnic diversity & conflict 2
  • Ethnic diversity implies (1) diverse and incompatible preferences & (2) historical hatreds and rivalries?
  • Ethnic diversity → ? → ? →poor development outcomes
  • → power struggles → development marginalized →
  • → violence → destruction of infrastructure for development →
  • → violence → devote state resources to responding to violence rather than other projects →
  • Ethnic diversity & conflict 3
  • Reasons to question these hypotheses:
  • Bates (2000): Ethnic tensions are pervasive in Africa, but violence is relatively scarce (p. 133). Using Banks’s data 1970-1995:
  • In the majority of cases, there is tension, but no violence.
  • However, when there is violence, an ethnic minority is usually at risk (76-84% of the time).
  • J. Fearon & D. Laitin, “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War,” APSR (2003):
  • “controlling for per capita income, more ethnically or religiously diverse countries have been no more likely to experience significant violence” since the end of the Cold War
  • Ethnic diversity & public goods provision 1
  • Easterly and Levine 1997: “In Alesina and Spolaore [1997] a public good like a school brings less satisfaction to everyone in an ethnically diverse situation because of the different preferences for language of instruction, curriculum, location, etc. So less of the public good is chosen by society, lowering the level of output or growth. Although this lower provision may be socially optimal, given the constraint that the school must reconcile very different preferences by ethnic groups, the existence of this constraint is costly for output and growth compared with a homogeneous society.” (pp. 1215-1216)
  • Ethnic diversity → ? → ? → poor development outcomes
  • → disagreement over what to provide (different tastes) → lower provision of public goods (schools, roads) →
  • → groups prefer separate goods (i.e., they don’t like to mix) → lower provision of public goods (schools, roads) →
  • → weak social sanctions to sustain collective action across diverse groups → lower provision of public goods (schools, roads) →
  • Ethnic diversity & public goods provision 2
  • Banerjee et al (2005): ‘one of the most powerful hypotheses in political economy’, ‘the notion that social divisions undermine economic progress, not just in extremis, as in the case of a civil war, but also in more normal times’ (p. 639).
  • Alesina, Baqir, and Easterly (1999): Tests a model using 1990 data on U.S. local government (cities, metropolitan areas, and urban counties) across a range of outcomes:
  • the share of local government spending on health, education, police, fire protection, roads,welfare, and sewerage and trash pickup
  • spending on roads per capita
  • Ethnic diversity & public goods provision 3
  • Strongest support re: education:
  • Miguel (2004): “Kenyan communities at mean levels of ethnic diversity have 25 percent less primary school funding per pupil than homogeneous areas on average…” (p. 328)
  • And underlying mechanisms remain largely untested:
  • Habyarimana, Humphreys, Posner, and Weinstein (2007): It is not so much that preferences differ across ethnic groups, but that co-ethnics are more likely to expect fellow co-ethnics to cooperate.
  • III. How to Minimize the Impact of Ethnic Divisions? Some ideas…
  • Make multi-ethnic countries mono-ethnic countries (e.g., redrawing of borders, secession)
  • Make sub-national units mono-ethnic and devolve power (e.g., decentralization, federalism)
  • “Grow” out of ethnic conflict (remember Laitin and Fearon 2003…)
  • ….
  • “Can Institutions reSolve Ethnic Conflict?” (Easterly 2001)
  • Ethnic conflict = f (ethnic diversity, institutional quality)
  • How about Nation Building? (Miguel 2004)
  • Miguel (2004) looks at ethnic divisions and public goods in Kenya and Tanzania.
  • Tanzania, unlike Kenya, pursued serious nation-building policies in the postcolonial period.
  • President Julius Nyerere’s Pan-Africanism and nationalism; national language policy; school curriculum; overhaul of local government institutions
  • In the Tanzanian case, ethnic diversity is not related to lower public goods provision:
  • “Kenyan communities at mean levels of ethnic diversity have 25 percent less primary school funding per pupil than homogeneous areas on average, the comparable figure for the Tanzanian district is near zero and statistically significant” (p. 328)
  • Conclusion, Discussion
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