Recent cross-country growth studies have found that ethnolinguistic fractionalization is an important explanatory variable of long-run growth performance. This paper highlights some limitations of cross-country studies by focusing on the time series evidence for South Africa. In presenting variation over time in a number of social dimensions, this paper adds longitudinal evidence on a range of dimensions that have been linked to long run economic development. Given South Africa's history of ethnic and racial politics, it constitutes a useful case study to explore the dynamics of the possible effects of ethnolinguistic fractionalization on growth. We introduce several new sets of fractionalization indicators for South Africa: ethnolinguistic, religious and cultural fractionalization, and a polarization measure. The results of this study provide important nuance to the existing body of evidence, for the use of fractionalization indices in growth studies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)