A Drunken Carnival of Hate: The Impact of a Minority Group’s Growth on Intergroup Conflict

Yeeun Koh

Name: Yeeun Koh
Majors: Economics, Mathematics
Advisors: Edward Teather-Posadas, Robert Kelvey

Conflict is, by nature, cost inefficient and has naturally attracted economists’ devoted attentions. As a part of this discourse, income inequality has been mainly discussed as a critical element of intergroup conflict, but growing literature has suggested that a dynamic change better predicts conflict onset. However, the ‘emotional’ aspect of intergroup conflict has been largely understudied. In this project, I study how an expected change in power dynamics impacts intergroup conflict onset. I theorize a majority group experiences Status Loss Aversion, of which magnitude is determined by cultural tightness, polarization, and intrinsic social preference, when they see a minority group’s growth. To test the theory, I first simulate an agent-based model by modifying the SIRS model. Then, I construct a global panel dataset from 1992 to 2019 using the Research Front End, Ethnic Power Relations 3.01, and Penn World Table 10.01 datasets. I find the Poisson and logistic regression estimations suggest that a minority group’s growth increases the probability of conflict onset, as aligned with my theory. This project contributes to illuminating conflict through the lens of the feeling of loss or hate and provides an alternative approach to existing analyses of conflict by creating the bridge between political economy and behavioral economics.


Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2023 on April 14, 2023.

One response to “A Drunken Carnival of Hate: The Impact of a Minority Group’s Growth on Intergroup Conflict”

  1. Matt Krain says:

    How exciting to see your project in its final form! I’ll be sure to stop by the poster later today to talk about it with you. Congratulations Yeeun!

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