• Ekki Syamsulhakim
    Ekki Syamsulhakim

Inequality, Religion Diversity, and Violence: Evidence from Indonesian Cities and Districts



Indonesia is a country endowed with diverse ethnicities, languages, and religions. While often be regarded as the countries’ advantage, these diversities – notably religion diversity – may be considered as one of the sources of conflicts or crimes involving violence among distinct groups in Indonesia. On the other hand, the widening of income inequality may also have contributed to the incidents. Combining multiple micro-datasets available in Indonesia such as Susenas, Podes, INDODAPOER, and National Violence Monitoring System, we investigate the extent to which income inequality and religion diversity affected violence in Indonesia’s cities and districts. We use the Negative Binomial Regression due to the over-dispersion of the dependent variable used in our econometric model. We also include other factors potentially related to the incidents of crimes involving violence in the city or district level, such as the number of police officers, local security personnel, poverty rate, etc. We find evidence that as income inequality widens, the probability of the incident of crimes involving violence increases. Moreover, the relationship between religion diversity and violence is found to have an inverted U-shaped, indicating that there is a variation in terms of the incident of crimes involving violence as cities or districts become more religiously-diverse.