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Increasing inequality and civil conflict in Nepal

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  • Karen Macours

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between increasing inequality and recruitment in a civil conflict. Starting from the puzzling observation that the Nepalese conflict escalated after a period of substantial growth and poverty reduction, it hypothesizes that increasing differences in welfare between groups can help explain recruitment by the Maoists. The hypothesis is tested with data from two national-representative household surveys, matched with district-level information regarding mass abductions by the Maoists from newspaper articles. The identification strategy relies on the fact that the months following finalization of the second round of data collection were characterized by a geographical escalation of the conflict. The paper first shows that gains from growth between 1995 and 2003 were much smaller for the (near) landless than for the landed; it then shows that recruiting through abduction of young people was more intensive in districts where inequality between the landed and the landless had previously increased. Copyright 2011 Oxford University Press 2010 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 63 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-26

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:63:y:2011:i:1:p:1-26

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Cited by:
  1. Christine Valente, 2011. "What Did the Maoists Ever Do for Us? Education and Marriage of Women Exposed to Civil Conflict in Nepal," HiCN Working Papers 105, Households in Conflict Network.
  2. Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "Civil War," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt90n356hs, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Nidhiya Menon & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, 2011. "War and Women’s Work: Evidence from the Conflict in Nepal," HiCN Working Papers 104, Households in Conflict Network.
  4. Joseph Flavian Gomes, 2012. "The political economy of the Maoist conflict in India : an empirical analysis," Economics Working Papers we1218, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  5. Maystadt, Jean-François & Trinh Tan, Jean-François & Breisinger, Clemens, 2012. "Does Food Security Matter for Transition in Arab Countries?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1196, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Valente, Christine, 2013. "Education and civil conflict in Nepal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6468, The World Bank.
  7. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War: A Review of Fifty Years of Research," Working Papers id:2231, eSocialSciences.
  8. Margarita Pivovarova & Eik Leong Swee, 2012. "Quantifying the Microeconomic Effects of War: How Much Can Panel Data Help?," HiCN Working Papers 116, Households in Conflict Network.
  9. Clark, Andrew E. & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2014. "Attitudes to Income Inequality: Experimental and Survey Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 8136, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Shaun Hargreaves Heap & Jonathan Tan & Daniel Zizzo, 2013. "Trust, inequality and the market," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 311-333, March.
  11. Baten, Joerg & Mumme, Christina, 2013. "Does inequality lead to civil wars? A global long-term study using anthropometric indicators (1816–1999)," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 56-79.
  12. Maystadt, Jean-François & Trinh Tan, Jean-François & Breisinger, Clemens, 2014. "Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 106-115.

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