Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 589: Ethnic Diversity and Civil War

Thomas P. Tangerås () and Nils-Petter Lagerlöf
Additional contact information
Thomas P. Tangerås: The Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Nils-Petter Lagerlöf: Department of Economics, Postal: Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd W., Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8, Canada

Abstract: We construct a model in which a number of equally powerful ethnic groups compete for power by engaging in civil war. In non-redistributive equilibrium, ethnically homogeneous and ethnically diverse countries face a lower probability of civil war than countries with a moderate degree of ethnic diversity. The likelihood of conflict is maximized when there are two ethnic groups. When rent-extraction possibilities are not too big and society sufficiently ethnically homogeneous, there also exists a pacific equilibrium path sustained by redistribution from the ruling group to the out-of-power groups.

Keywords: Civil War; Ethnic Diversity; Redistribution; Dynamic Game

JEL-codes: H56; J15; K42; N40; N47

33 pages, October 14, 2002

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