A Generalized Index of Fractionalization
Article first published online: 30 MAR 2010
© 2010 The London School of Economics and Political Science
Volume 78, Issue 312, pages 723–750, October 2011
How to Cite
BOSSERT, W., D'AMBROSIO, C. and LA FERRARA, E. (2011), A Generalized Index of Fractionalization. Economica, 78: 723–750. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0335.2010.00844.x
- Issue published online: 19 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 30 MAR 2010
- Final version received 13 July 2009.
This paper characterizes an index that is informationally richer than the commonly used ethno-linguistic fractionalization (ELF) index. Our measure of fractionalization takes as a primitive the individuals, as opposed to ethnic groups, and uses information on the similarities among them. Compared to existing indices, our measure does not require that individuals are pre-assigned to exogenously determined categories or groups. We provide an empirical illustration of how our index can be operationalized and what difference it makes as compared to the standard ELF index. This application pertains to the pattern of fractionalization in the USA.