Ethnic Linguistic And Religious Fractionalization Economics Essay

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Indicators as GDP, population growth and HDI are good examples to use when configuring the world. It shows how countries are developing in comparison with each other. However, these are not the only important aspects to configure our world. This paper will therefore come up with more indicators, such as fractionalization, government and trust. Comparing all these different facets will contribute to illustrate a complete picture of the world and of my region of choice: South America.

The second part of this paper will focus on South America and how the health situation is in this region. Comparisons will be made on different levels; global, regional, national and subnational.

Ethnic, linguistic and religious fractionalization

Figure : Fractionalization averages of the world regions. Source: Broekstra, N, ctw datasetEthnic, linguistic and religious fractionalization seems to be related with economic success, it appears to be correlated with GDP growth, policy quality, welfare and quality of institutions. However it is not sure how the effects of fractionalization really are since other variables, as geographical ones, play a part as well (Alesina et al. 27,28). Nevertheless, it is interesting to look at fractionalization in the world and fractionalization within South America.

Figure 1 shows the averages of ethnic, linguistic and religious fractionalization in the major world regions. Sub-Saharan Africa shows the largest ethnic fractionalization, this region contains the most fragmented country, Uganda, with an index of 0.930. East Asia is ethnical the least fragmented, with in this region South-Korea with an index of 0.002 [1] . Sub-Saharan Africa is the most fragmented language wise as well but East Asia is not language wise the least fragmented region, it is Central America and the Caribbean. Guatemala has a number of 53 the most languages used as first language in this region, whereas the highest number in Sub-Saharan Africa is 521 in Nigeria.

Religious fractionalization is harder to measure than ethnic or linguistic fractionalization, since religion is not as visible as skin colour or the language that is used. People can change their religions easily or hide it to avoid suppression. Alesina et al. state that "a higher observed measure of religious fractionalization can be a sign of a more tolerant and democratic form of government" (167).

Australia and Oceania have the highest average in religious fragmentation, North Africa the lowest.

Looking at the averages of South America specifically, illustrates that this region is not an outlier in none of these indices. It is the third most ethnic fractionalized region, the second lowest linguistic fractionalized and the fifth lowest religious fractionalized.

Figure : Fractionalization within South America Source: Broekstra, N., ctw dataset

Figure 2 shows that within a region great difference can exist. It also illustrates that ethnicity and language do not have to be correlated. Colombia is for example ethnic quite fragmented but is barely linguistic fragmented.

Table : Religious break down, South AmericaOverall, South America is linguistic not very fragmented, neither religious. Table 1 shows that most countries are for the most part Roman Catholic. The region is ethnic more divided, remarkable to see is that the least ethnic fragmented countries are all in the south of the continent.

Governance indicators

Development of countries and regions is dependent on governance as well. Therefore, the World Bank has developed governance indicators. There are six indicators, Voice and Accountability, Political Stability (and absence of violence), Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption. Important to know is how the indicators work, as the governance indicators do not go from 0 to 1, but they "are in units of a standard normal distribution, with mean zero, standard deviation of one, and running from approximately -2.5 to 2.5, with higher values corresponding to better governance" (World Bank). By ranking the countries in this way, it is difficult to compare them over time, however it is possible to compare the countries relatively in the global order.

Figure : Governance indicators averages of South America for the years 1996 and 2010 Source: Broekstra, N., ctw dataset

Figure 3 shows the averages of the Governance Indicators of South America in 1996 and 2010 [2] . Voice and accountability, Government Effectiveness and Control of Corruption are improved, the Political Stability, Regulatory Quality and Rule of law are deteriorated for the region as a whole. Mainwarring and Scully discuss in their essay that Latin America went through a "wave" of democratization in the early nineties but many countries did not succeed to establish stable democratic governances. Moreover, because "democracies have failed to win the support of large numbers of citizens" (114). Chile and Uruguay are the only two countries in South America that became democratic and effective at the same time. These two countries have the highest scores with the governance indicators in both 1996 and 2010. Only Peru scored higher on Regulatory Quality in 2010, as can be seen in table 2.

Table : Governance Indicators for the years 1996 - 2010 for the countries in South America

The green cells in table 2 mark the highest score for the governance indicators. Overall the region score a little under de mean 0, so there is room for improvement. The cause of this result might be the unstable democracies and struggles to control corruption.

Figure : Government Effectiveness with an error margins covering a confidence level of 95%The governance indicators come along with error margins, showing that not all the numbers are completely accurate. Figure 4 shows how important the error margins can be. If an error margins fall within the error margin of another country, there is no significant difference. This means, looking at figure 4, that Uruguay might score as high as Chile and that Venezuela might actually be on the same level as Bolivia. Figure 5 shows this even better, regarding Political Stability and Absence of violence Venezuale could actually be the same as Guyana.C:\Users\Nienke\Downloads\chart.png

Figure : Political Stability/Absence of Violence in South America with error margins covering a confidence level of 95%



Trust is a fundamental element of society; from the very first beginning of societies, people trusted each other to survive. Nowadays people rely on each other to a greater extent, leading to economic success and stability (Wang et al. 583). Therefore, the World Values Survey came up with the trust index, an index that illustrates how trustful people are per country. Figure 4 shows the averages of the index of the world regions [3] .

One of the most important manners to measure trust is asking the question whether most people can be trusted or that you cannot be too careful when dealing with others. If the score is higher than 100, most people gave the first answer, a score lower than 100 indicates most people answered the latter.

Figure : Trust Index Averages of the world regionsFigure 4 shows that Australia and Oceania is the most trustful region, Sub-Saharan Africa the least. The most developed regions are all at the top of the trust index, however GDP per capita does not seem to be strongly correlated with trust. Figure 5 support this statement, in this graph the GDP per capita of the different regions are shown in comparison with the Trust Index. A trend line is added and the R-squared value is also shown. The R-squared value tells you how related data is, it is a number between 0 - 1,0. An outcome near 0 means no correlation, an outcome close to 1,0 means a good fit. Therefore, an outcome of 0,4333 may indicate a slight correlation but it is not strong enough to conclude that the a high GDP per capita is a condition for high trust, or the other way around.

Figure : Correlation between GDP per capita and Trust

Figure 6 divides South America into countries, there are numerous differences within the region. With scores ranking from 17,5 in Brazil to 72,7 in Ecuador. Suriname and Guyana are not included because of missing data.

Figure 5: Trust Index for the countries of South America, excluding Guyana and Suriname due to missing data.

Besides trust, the World Values Survey also measured other cultural attitudes, like attitudes to life, environment, work, family, politics, religion and national identity. It is interesting to see whether there is also a great difference between other attitudes to life besides trust between Ecuador and Brazil. However, Ecuador is not available to take a look at therefore Uruguay and Brazil will be compared in their attitudes towards confidence in the parliament and the government.

C:\Users\Nienke\Documents\International Studies\Configuring the World\Confidence Parliament.png

Figure : Confidence in the parliament, Brazil and Uruguay Source: World Values Survey

Figure 6 and 7 show that there is a significant difference between Brazil and Uruguay in terms of confidence in the parliament and the government. People in Uruguay are more confident, almost half of the people questioned have confidence in parliament and over sixty per cent have confidence in the government. These percentages are lower for Brazil, more people in Brazil have no confidence at all in parliament and the government.

C:\Users\Nienke\Documents\International Studies\Configuring the World\Confidence the Government.png

Figure : Confidence in the government, Brazil and Uruguay Source: World Values Survey

Hobby; Health in South America

In this part of the paper, a light will be shed on Health in South America. A new sheet in the Excel file contains data about health all over the world. You can use many data to determine the health situation in a region, to narrow the large number of indicators I have chosen to use life expectancy, under 5 child mortality, maternity mortality and per capita expenditure on health. Life expectancy is a good indicator because health is the main reason why you will survive longer. Child mortality and maternity mortality can be used as well for giving an indication on health care. Are women advised? Are people educated about hygiene? Per capita expenditure on health is important to analyse, because; does money matter?

The aim is to provide a clear picture of the health situation in South America and to analyse several differences on a global, regional, national and subnational level.

Life expectancy is an important measure for health, if a person lives in a healthy environment, eats healthy and has good access to health care, he or she will be able to live longer.

Figure : Life expectancy at birth in 2010

The averages do not show extremely big differences, Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe are the only outliers. The rest of the regions all have life expectancies around 70. Western Europe was the first region that industrialized, since then the medical science developed and health care improved. Sub-Saharan Africa is still a low income region which is not beneficial for the health care, since health care simply costs money. In the twentieth century, an increase in life expectancy appeared in developing regions, more rapidly than in the industrialized countries when they were in the same phase. Bahr et al. state that "it is thus to be assumed that there has been an 'importation' of measures in the areas of medicine and hygiene" (1373). However, hygiene and medical science were not the only factors in improving life expectancy; socio-economic reasons played a part as well (Bahr et al, 1373).

Figure 11 shows the life expectancy of South American countries in 2010, with Chile at the top. Even within countries, differences exist, especially between urban and rural areas. Due to better infrastructure, when in need, help can earlier and more effectively be provided. Moreover, medical improvements are usually introduced in cities (Bahr et al. 1375).

Figure : Life Expectancy in South America 2010

Another important aspect to measure development in health is under-5-child-mortality. Comparing the child mortality with the rest of the world, South America is not doing badly; it is the fifth best and leaves 8 regions behind. However, only using the averages of region for one year (2010) won't be enough to draw conclusions.

Figure : Under-5 child mortality rate per 1.000 live births, 2010

Figure 14 illustrates the development in South America regarding the decline of child mortality. In all the countries the rate has gone down, Bolivia went through the biggest improvement, from 99,5 to 52,9. However, Chile had a major decline in child mortality as well, but that was before 1995. The rate went from around 120 per 1.000 in 1960 to less than 20 in the mid 1980's (Bahr et al 1378). Figure 13 illustrate this difference between the rural an urban areas in Chile.

Figure : infant mortality compared with urban and rural areas in Chile Source: Bahr et al.According to Bahr and Wehrhahn Chile was able to decline the child mortality by reforms in the public health system and efforts to improve the public hygiene. They focussed among others on advising pregnant women, assistance during labour and preventive health care (1380).C:\Users\Nienke\Documents\International Studies\Configuring the World\source infant mortality.png

Figure : Under 5 child mortality rates per 1.000 live births for the years 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010, South America

After looking at child mortality, it is valuable to look at maternity mortality at birth. Figure 15 illustrates the averages of the world regions. Once again, Sub-Saharan Africa is an outlier and Western Europe has the lowest mortality rate. South America scores quite average, which is not surprisingly as well. Figure 16 divides the region into countries. Within South America Chile is doing well, which can be linked with the efforts of advising pregnant women, as discussed before. Guyana and Bolivia have the highest rates of maternity mortality. Maternity mortality and child mortality are correlated, when given more education and advise to women, the chance to survive will increase.

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) a key to improving health care in South America is increasing the number of nurses. There is a lack of nurses throughout whole Latin America (Davis, 20). Increasing the number of nurses and improving their working conditions will lead to an improvement in health because even though the region has improved over the last decades, there is still room for more improvement.

Figure : Maternity mortality per 100.000 live births 2010

Figure : Maternity mortality per 100.000 live births 2010, South America

Finally, we will take a look at the per capita expenditure on health. Figure 17 shows the differences between the world regions. North America and Western Europe spend the most money on health in 2010 and South Asia the least. This is rather remarkable since generally Sub-Saharan Africa is doing poorly in terms of health care. South America is once again quite in the middle, to get a better perspective of South America, Figure 18 is created, dividing the area into countries.

Figure : Per capita total expenditure on health 2010 (PPP int. $)

Figure : Per capita total expenditure on health 2010 (PPP int. $) South America

Figure 18 shows that Argentina, Chile and Uruguay spend the most money on health care. Overall, these three countries are preforming best at health. However, in the essay of Biggs et al, the question: Is wealthier always healthier? discussed. They conclude that it depends: "However, we found that while national income level exerted greater influence on public health than both poverty and inequality, it was unsatisfactory as a stand-alone explanation for variations in public health; at most explaining about 45% of the variance in a single health measure(infant mortality) (271).

To conclude, South America fits in the middle compared with the rest of the world. Comparing the region with the other world region almost always result in an average placement. This means that, however the situation within the region has improved over the past decades, there is still room for more improvement. Moreover, within the region there is substantial inequality and even within countries inequality exists. These inland inequalities could be smoothened by expanding and developing infrastructure. And, although it cannot explain every variation in health measures, money does play an important role in improving the health situation.