Tade O. Okediji


The influence of ethnic fragmentation on economic performance has been the subject of much scholarly inquiry in economics and political economics literature. Studies have shown that ethnic fragmentation has a distinct impact on the prospects for economic growth through its effect on government policies and in particular macroeconomic stabilization strategies. It has also become relevant in legal scholarship, especially with regard to developing antidiscrimination laws to ameliorate incessant conflict in plural societies. Accurate measurements of the scale or degree of ethnic fragmentation are important for determining sustainable economic development policies and legal policies for overall development planning. The multiple, complex, and often intractable variations of ethnic identity are muted in existing measurements of ethnic fragmentation, including the prevailing ELF Index. Using Brazil as a case study, this article illustrates how a newly-derived index of ethnic fragmentation called the Social Diversity Index (SDI) is more robust and does a better job than the prevailing index in illustrating the multiple dimensions of ethnic fragmentation. Further, the analysis explores the link between ethnic fragmentation and economic growth in Brazil and examines legal remedies designed to address racial inequality in Brazil.

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