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Development, Democracy, and Mass Killings

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  • William Easterly

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Abstract

Using a newly assembled dataset spanning from 1820 to 1998, we study the relationship between the occurrence and cruelty of episodes of mass killing and the levels of development and democracy across countries and over time. We find that massacres are more likely at intermediate levels of income and less likely at very high levels of democracy, but we do not find evidence of a linear relationship between democracy and probability of mass killings. In the 20th century, discrete improvements in democracy are systematically associated with less cruel massacre episodes. Episodes at the highest levels of democracy and income involve relatively fewer victims.

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File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/8953
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Global Development in its series Working Papers with number 93.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:93

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Web page: http://www.cgdev.org

Related research

Keywords: Economic development; mass killings; genocide; democracy;

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References

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  1. Marta Reynal-Querol, 2002. "Political systems, stability and civil wars," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(6), pages 465-483.
  2. Scheper-Hughes, Nancy, 1996. "Small wars and invisible genocides," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 889-900, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Leander Heldring, 2014. "State Capacity and Violence: Evidence from the Rwandan genocide," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morello & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic Mass Killings," OxCarre Working Papers 045, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2010. "International Commodity Prices, Growth and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 519-534, 05.
  4. Dasgupta, Indraneel & Mukherjee, Diganta, 2014. "Assimilation, Criminality and Ethnic Conflict," IZA Discussion Papers 7924, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.

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