Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision?

  title={Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision?},
  author={James Paul Habyarimana and Macartan Humphreys and Daniel N. Posner and Jeremy M. Weinstein},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={709 - 725}
A large and growing literature links high levels of ethnic diversity to low levels of public goods provision. Yet although the empirical connection between ethnic heterogeneity and the underprovision of public goods is widely accepted, there is little consensus on the specific mechanisms through which this relationship operates. We identify three families of mechanisms that link diversity to public goods provision—what we term “preferences,” “technology,” and “strategy selection” mechanisms—and… 

Ethnic Heterogeneity and Public Goods Provision in Zambia: Further Evidence of a Subnational ‘Diversity Dividend’

The “diversity debit” hypothesis – that ethnic diversity has a negative impact on social, economic, and political outcomes – has been widely accepted in the literature. Indeed, with respect to public

Ethnic Segregation and Public Goods: Evidence from Indonesia

This article contributes to the study of ethnic diversity and public goods provision by assessing the role of the spatial distribution of ethnic groups. Through a new theory that we call spatial

Ethnic divisions and public goods provision, revisited

A considerable amount of recent work in political science and economics builds from the hypothesis that ethnic heterogeneity leads to poor provision of public goods, a key component of poor

Ethnic Diversity and Ethnic Discrimination: Explaining Local Public Goods Provision

Numerous studies have found that ethnic diversity is negatively associated with the provision of local public goods. However, these accounts neglect both the strong role of central institutions in

Comparative Analysis of Ethnic Diversity Measures on Provisioning of Basic Public Goods: Cross Country Assessment

Ethnic diversity and provision of public goods have long been understood to share a negative relationship. While there has been a concerted effort to define and measure ethnic diversity around the

Immigration, Ethnic Diversity and Public Goods Provisioning: Evidence from Rural Communities in Uganda

A significant body of literature suggests that immigration undermines voluntary contributions to public goods because it leads to ethnic diversity, which in turn erodes social trust. This article

Public Goods, and Nested Subnational Units: Diversity, Segregation, or Hierarchy?

We develop a general multi-scale diversity framework to account for spatial segregation of hierarchically-ordered ethnic groups residing in politically and administratively nested geographic

Ethnic diversity, public goods provision and social cohesion: Lessons from an inconclusive literature

Over the last two decades there has been a growing debate on the supposedly negative relation between ethnic diversity, public goods production and social cohesion. Despite the amount of evidence,

Ethnic Diversity and Public Goods Provision

We revisit the claim that ethnic heterogeneity—the degree to which different ethnic groups make up the population—reduces local government spending on various public goods. Our analysis suggests that

Does ethnic diversity decrease economic interactions? Evidence from exchange networks in rural Gambia

Using a unique dataset collected in 59 rural Gambian villages, we study how ethnic heterogeneity is related to the structure of four economic exchange networks: land, labor, inputs and credit. We



Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions

The authors present a model that links heterogeneity of preferences across ethnic groups in a city to the amount and type of public good the city supplies. Results show that the shares of spending on

Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya

Explaining Interethnic Cooperation

Though both journalists and the academic literature on ethnic conflict give the opposite impression, peaceful and even cooperative relations between ethnic groups are far more common than is

Contributions in heterogeneous communities: Evidence from Indonesia

Abstract.Using household-level data from Indonesia, we investigate the importance of community characteristics: ethnic diversity and central government transfers, inter alia, in determining monetary


Coalitions aimed at the capture of political “pork” have a strong incentive to limit their size in order not to dilute each winner’s share of the spoils. This means that a criterion is needed to

Ethnic Diversity, Mobility and School Funding: Theory and Evidence from Kenya

This paper explores the relationship between ethnic diversity and local school funding in Kenyan primary schools. The empirical results paint a picture of pervasive local collective action problems


▪ Abstract Since the publication of Horowitz's Ethnic Groups in Conflict, comparative political scientists have increasingly converged on their classification of ethnic identities. But there is no

Ethnic Identifiability: An Experimental Approach*

We propose a radically contingent notion of ethnic identifiability that treats identifiability as a binary relation between two individuals, conditional upon a given informational environment. We use

Why Ethnic Parties Succeed: Patronage and Ethnic Head Counts in India

  • S. Mitra
  • Sociology
    Perspectives on Politics
  • 2005
Why Ethnic Parties Succeed: Patronage and Ethnic Head Counts in India. By Kanchan Chandra. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 368p. $80.00. In the post-9/11 world where the “clash of