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Winning Hearts and Minds through Development Aid: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan

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Author Info

  • Andrew Beath

    ()
    (Department of Government, Harvard University, and the World Bank)

  • Fotini Christia

    ()
    (Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Ruben Enikolopov

    ()
    (The New Economic School)

Abstract

Development programs have been increasingly used not only as an instrument for economic and political development, but also as a tool for counterinsurgency. Using a large-scale randomized field experiment we test this approach by examining the effect of the largest development program in Afghanistan. We find that the introduction of this program leads to significant improvement in villagers’ economic wellbeing as well as in their attitudes towards government. The program also leads to an improved security situation in the long run. These positive effects on attitudes and security, however, are not observed in districts with high levels of initial violence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0166.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0166

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References

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  1. Radha Iyengar & Jonathan Monten, 2008. "Is There an "Emboldenment" Effect? Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq," NBER Working Papers 13839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Luke N. Condra & Joseph H. Felter & Radha K. Iyengar & Jacob N. Shapiro, 2010. "The Effect of Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq," NBER Working Papers 16152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Oeindrila Dube & Suresh Naidu, 2010. "Bases, Bullets, and Ballots: The Effect of U.S. Military Aid on Political Conflict in Colombia," Working Papers 197, Center for Global Development.
  4. Eli Berman & Michael Callen & Joseph H. Felter & Jacob N. Shapiro, 2009. "Do Working Men Rebel? Insurgency and Unemployment in Iraq and the Philippines," NBER Working Papers 15547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Eli Berman & Jacob N. Shapiro & Joseph H. Felter, 2008. "Can Hearts and Minds Be Bought? The Economics of Counterinsurgency in Iraq," NBER Working Papers 14606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2012. "Direct democracy and resource allocation : experimental evidence from Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6133, The World Bank.
  2. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2014. "Highway to Hitler," ECON - Working Papers 156, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Benjamin Crost & Joseph H. Felter & Hani Mansour & Daniel I. Rees, 2013. "Election Fraud and Post-Election Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines," HiCN Working Papers 158, Households in Conflict Network.
  4. Saurabh Singhal & Rahul Nilakantan, 2012. "Naxalite Insurgency and the Economic Benefits of a Unique Robust Security Response," HiCN Working Papers 127, Households in Conflict Network.
  5. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2014. "Highway to Hitler," Working Papers 769, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov, 2014. "Electoral Rules and the Quality of Politicians: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 20082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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