4:00—5:30 PM
Center for Global Development
2055 L Street NW
-Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20036

Unity in Diversity? Ethnicity, Migration, and Nation Building in Indonesia

CGD Invited Research Forum


Samuel Bazzi
Assistant Professor, Boston University


Michael Clemens
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Can nation building be achieved by promoting social integration and a national identity among groups from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds? In his new paper, Professor Samuel Bazzi and his coauthors use a large resettlement program in Indonesia as a natural experiment to investigate the relationship between diversity and nation building. In their paper, their findings suggest that increased diversity is associated with nation building, where there are greater inter-ethnic marriage, less residential segregation, and no differential conflict in the program areas. They also find that the use of a national language helped mediate the increased scope for inter-ethnic interaction. These results may offer insights into the potential conditions in which ethnic diversity can be harnessed for improved social outcomes.

*The CIRF series is an academic research seminar that brings some of the world's leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations are at times technical, but retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policymakers. There’s more about the series here.

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