We construct a model in which a number of equally powerful ethnic groups compete for power by engaging in civil war. In non-redistributive equilibrium, ethnically homogeneous and ethnically diverse countries face a lower probability of civil war than countries with a moderate degree of ethnic diversity. The likelihood of conflict is maximized when there are two ethnic groups. When rent-extraction possibilities are not too big and society sufficiently ethnically homogeneous, there also exists a pacific equilibrium path sustained by redistribution from the ruling group to the out-of-power groups.
Civil War Ethnic Diversity Redistribution Dynamic Game