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Industrialization and ethnic change

Green, Elliott D. ORCID: 0000-0002-0942-5756 (2017) Industrialization and ethnic change. Ethnic and Racial Studies. ISSN 0141-9870

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1414277


Despite the large recent attention given to ethnicity within the social sciences, the sources of modern ethnic change have remained opaque. Drawing upon social theory from Marx and Gellner, I argue here that industrialization incentivizes ethnic homogenization by lowering the relative value of land. Using carbon emissions per capita as a proxy for industrialization, I show that cross-country changes in ethno-linguistic fractionalization between 1961 and 1985 are negatively correlated with industrialization, and that this result is robust to the use of a variety of control variables, sub-samples and alternative measures of industrialization such as cement production, urbanization and agriculture as a percentage of GDP. In particular I find no evidence for the direct role of the state in promoting ethnic homogenization, which adds to other recent evidence on how economic incentives may trump political ones as regards identity change, at least in the short- to medium term.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 14:49
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:33

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