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Ethnic Inequality
December 3, 2014Macro, Trade, and Finance Seminar Series

Stelios Michalopoulos (Brown, NBER) will share the results of his most recent research done in collaboration with Alberto Alesina (Harvard, IGIER, CEPR, NBER) and Elias Papaioannou (London Business School, CEPR, NBER)

Speaker:  Stelios Michalopoulos is an Assistant Professor of economics at Brown University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the Athens University of Economics and Business and a Ph.D. in Economics from Brown University. After completing his doctorate in 2008, he joined the department of economics at Tufts University as an Assistant Professor. In 2010-2011 he was the Deutsche Bank Member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. His primary research interests lie in the areas of political economy, growth and development, and the economics of culture. He has published in leading peer-reviewed economic journals including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and the Journal of Economic Theory. More >>

Abstract: This study explores the consequences and origins of between-ethnicity economic inequality across countries. First, combining satellite images of nighttime luminosity with the historical homelands of ethnolinguistic groups we construct measures of ethnic inequality for a large sample of countries. We also compile proxies of overall spatial inequality and regional inequality across administrative units. Second, we uncover a strong negative association between ethnic inequality and contemporary comparative development; the correlation is also present when we condition on regional inequality, which is itself related to under-development. Third, we investigate the roots of ethnic inequality and establish that differences in geographic endowments across ethnic homelands explain a sizable fraction of the observed variation in economic disparities across groups. Fourth, we show that ethnic-specific inequality in geographic endowments is also linked to under-development.

Paper: Ethnic Equality

This talk held jointly with the International Monetary Fund.

Last Updated: Nov 20, 2014

The Macro, Trade, and Finance Seminar Series is a weekly series hosted by the World Bank's research department. The series invites leading researchers from the fields of macroeconomics, growth, trade, international integration, and finance to present the results of their most recent research in a seminar format. The full list of seminars can be viewed here.

Event Details
  • Location: World Bank Main Complex, MC5-100
  • Time: 12:30 - 2:00 PM
  • CONTACT: Shweta Mesipam
  • smesipam@worldbank.org