Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Economics Dept.


Jason M. Long


In this paper I explore the link between social cohesion and economic growth in Latin America and East Asia. Unlike previous studies, I allow for different slope parameters for the different regions. Using ethno linguistic fractionalization as a proxy, I find that social cohesion has not played an important role in determining growth outcomes in Latin America. While social cohesion has not had a direct effect on growth nor institutions in Latin America, it helps explain a large degree of the growth differentials among Asian countries. Social cohesion mostly impacts growth through its effect on institutional quality. However, these results are contingent on the proxy used for social cohesion. Since there is no appropriate method for distinguishing the best proxy for social cohesion, I estimate social cohesion in a set of structural equations as an unobserved variable with observable causes and indicators. Using the estimated values of social cohesion in the growth regressions does not affect the previous results obtained using ethno linguistic fractionalization as a proxy.


Civil society, Economic development, Latin America -- Economic conditions, Latin America -- Social conditions, East Asia -- Economic conditions, East Asia -- Social conditions

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Economics Commons