Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries


Alesina, Alberto, and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. 2011. “Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries.” American Economic Review, 1872-1911.
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This paper has three goals. The first, and perhaps the most important, is to provide a new compilation of data on ethnic, linguistic and religious composition at the sub-national level for a large number of countries. This data set allows us to measure segregation of different ethnic, religious and linguistic groups within the same country. The second goal is to correlate measures of segregation with measures of quality of the polity and policymaking. The third is to construct an instrument that helps to overcome the endogeneity problem which arises because groups move within country borders, partly in response to policies. We find that more ethnically and linguistically segregated countries, i.e., those where groups live more spatially separately, have a substantially lower quality of government. In contrast, we find no relationship between religious segregation and the quality of government.

Last updated on 04/03/2013