Can ethno-linguistic diversity explain cross-country differences in social capital? A global perspective

Cong Wang, Bodo Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Motivated by the inconclusiveness of empirical studies on the relationship between ethno-linguistic diversity and social capital (SC) at various levels of regional aggregation, this paper provides new evidence on the relationship between the two variables at a global scale. A cross-sectional analysis of 68 developed and developing countries applying two-stage least squares estimations suggests not only that the cognitive dimension of SC (shared codes and languages) is highly important for SC formation across regional origin, but also that countries with a greater degree of linguistic fractionalisation have a lower SC stock. In particular, countries with fractionalized ethnic and linguistic groups, as captured by number of languages and measures of linguistic diversity, tend to have lower levels of social trust, fewer memberships in social organisations, and deteriorated social norms and structures. The negative ethnic fractionalisation effect on SC is also found weaker in higher-income and in non-African countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-366
Number of pages29
JournalEconomic Record
Volume91
Issue number294
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Country differences
Social capital
Language
Fractionalization
Income
Developing countries
Capital formation
Empirical study
Cross-sectional analysis
Ethnic fractionalization
Social structure
Social organization
Capital stock
Two-stage least squares
Social norms
Social trust
Developed countries

Cite this

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Can ethno-linguistic diversity explain cross-country differences in social capital? A global perspective. / Wang, Cong; Steiner, Bodo.

In: Economic Record, Vol. 91, No. 294, 01.09.2015, p. 338-366.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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