Linking Ethnic Data from Africa

With Carl Müller-Crepon and Nils-Christian Bormann. Conditionally accepted at the Journal of Peace Research.

Social scientists in general and conflict researchers in particular increasingly combine multiple datasets to study ethnic politics and conflict in Africa. We facilitate these efforts by systematically linking over 8,100 ethnic categories from eleven databases, including surveys, geographic data, and expert-coded lists. Exploiting the linguistic tree from the Ethnologue database, we propose a systematic solution to the \textit{grouping problem} of ethnicity. An analysis of political exclusion, mistrust of state leaders, and ethnic grievances highlights different ways of linking ethnic categories from multiple datasets. The LEDA open-source software package allows researchers to link ethnic groups from any database with explicit rules and to add their own data on ethnic groups.

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