Universidad Carlos III
Institutional Affiliation: Universidad Carlos III
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2018||The Geography of Linguistic Diversity and the Provision of Public Goods|
with Klaus Desmet, Joseph Gomes: w24694
This paper analyzes the importance of local interaction between individuals of different linguistic groups for the provision of public goods at the national level. The micro-founded conceptual framework we develop predicts that a country's public goods (i) decrease in its overall linguistic fractionalization, and (ii) either increase or decrease in its local learning multiplier, a measure of how local interaction affects antagonism towards other groups in the society at large. After constructing a 5 km by 5 km dataset on language use for 223 countries, we empirically explore these theoretical predictions. While overall fractionalization worsens public goods outcomes, we find a positive causal effect of local learning. Conditional on a country's overall diversity, public goods outcomes are ...
Published: Klaus Desmet & Joseph Flavian Gomes & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín, 2019. "The geography of linguistic diversity and the provision of public goods," Journal of Development Economics, . citation courtesy of
|February 2015||Culture, Ethnicity and Diversity|
with Klaus Desmet, Romain Wacziarg: w20989
We investigate the empirical relationship between ethnicity and culture, defined as a vector of traits reflecting norms, attitudes and preferences. Using surveys of individual values in 76 countries, we find that ethnic identity is a significant predictor of cultural values, yet that within-group variation in culture trumps between-group variation. Thus, in contrast to a commonly held view, ethnic and cultural diversity are unrelated. We explore the correlates of cultural diversity and of the overlap between culture and ethnicity, finding that the level of economic development is positively associated with cultural diversity and negatively associated with the overlap between culture and ethnicity. Finally, although only a small portion of a country's overall cultural heterogeneity occurs b...
Published: Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2017. "Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity," American Economic Review, vol 107(9), pages 2479-2513. citation courtesy of
|September 2009||The Political Economy of Ethnolinguistic Cleavages|
with Klaus Desmet, Romain Wacziarg: w15360
This paper proposes a new method to measure ethnolinguistic diversity and offers new results linking such diversity with a range of political economy outcomes -- civil conflict, redistribution, economic growth and the provision of public goods. We use linguistic trees, describing the genealogical relationship between the entire set of 6,912 world languages, to compute measures of fractionalization and polarization at different levels of linguistic aggregation. By doing so, we let the data inform us on which linguistic cleavages are most relevant, rather than making ad hoc choices of linguistic classifications. We find drastically different effects of linguistic diversity at different levels of aggregation: deep cleavages, originating thousands of years ago, lead to measures of diversity th...
Published: The Political Economy of Linguistic Cleavages (with Klaus Desmet and Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín) - Journal of Development Economics, vol. 97, no. 2, March 2012, pp. 322-338. - Paper