Freakonomics » The Violent Legacy of Africa’s Arbitrary Borders
Ne pas confondre avec notre copain @freakonometrics !
Even if they haven’t heard the term Scramble for Africa, most people know that something went wrong when the continent was divided into nation states by European colonial powers.
Some economists, however, have taken the time to quantify the destructive nature of Africa’s national borders. Authors Stelios Michalopoulos and Elias Papaioannou have released a new working paper showing how arbitrary border decisions have affected war and civil unrest in Africa, particularly among split ethnic groups and their neighbors. Not surprisingly, the length of a conflict and its casualty rate is 25 percent higher in areas where an ethnicity is divided by a national border as opposed to areas where ethnicities have a united homeland. Examples of divided (and conflicted) groups are the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania, and the Anyi of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The conflict rate is also higher for people living in areas close to ethnic-partitioned hot-spots.