Discussion paper

DP13779 Diversity and Conflict

This research advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that interpersonal population diversity has contributed significantly to the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrasocietal conflicts. Exploiting an exogenous source of variations in population diversity across nations and ethnic groups, it demonstrates that population diversity, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, has contributed significantly to the risk and intensity of historical and contemporary civil conflicts. The findings arguably reflect the adverse effect of population diversity on interpersonal trust, its contribution to divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies, and its impact on the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.


Eren Arbatlı, C, Q Ashraf, O Galor and M Klemp (2019), ‘DP13779 Diversity and Conflict‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 13779. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp13779