DP6943 Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries

Author(s): Alberto F Alesina, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
Publication Date: August 2008
Keyword(s): Diversity, Ethnicity, Fractionalization, Language, Quality of government, Religion, Segregation
JEL(s): H11, J15, O1
Programme Areas: Public Economics, Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6943

This paper has three goals. The first (and perhaps the most important one) 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 due to the fact that groups move within country borders, partly in response to policies. Our results suggest that more segregated countries in terms of ethnicity and language, i.e., those where groups live more spatially separately, have a substantially lower quality of government. In contrast, there is no relationship between religious segregation and the government quality.