I analyze the effects of ethnic divisions on the provision of public goods. Using OpenStreetMap data, I construct a new global dataset of locations of public amenities, such as schools, hospital and libraries. I allow for the possibility that the data may be systematically incomplete using two new proxies for mapping completeness. I provide strong evidence that more autonomous subnational regions with a high degree of ethnic fractionalization provide significantly fewer productive public goods. Therefore, my findings indicate that decentralization can lead to a failure in the provision of local public goods when it increases ethnical fractionalization among the policy makers responsible for collectively supplying public goods.

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Published on 01/01/2020

Volume 2020, 2020
DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3457141
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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