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The formality in property rights: determinant in the military strategy of armed actors

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  • Andrea P. Velásquez Guijo

    ()
    (Universidad de los Andes)

Abstract

The causes of internal conflicts are not easy to identify, and in order to understand its dynamics it is important to determine the factors that influence its persistence. The appropriation of economic resources has been identified as a cause of the conflict; however, asset appropriation may not be the main motivation for armed groups. On the contrary, it may be seen as a means of financing, which influences the conflict’s persistence. In Colombia, land appropriation has been a recurrent strategy for illegal armed groups in order to increase their territorial control and the institutional weakness when defining property rights may facilitate illegal appropriation of these assets. The hypothesis presented in this work is that the informality of property rights positively influences the armed groups’ decision of attacking and, therefore, influences the conflict’s intensity. In order to prove this hypothesis, an econometric model is proposed, which explains the conflict’s intensity through economic, social and institutional indicators at a municipal level. The results suggest that with a greater formality in property rights, the conflict’s intensity decreases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Households in Conflict Network in its series HiCN Working Papers with number 39.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:39

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

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Keywords: Institutions; armed conflict; property rights; possession and use of land;

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References

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  1. Ana María Díaz & Fabio Sánchez, 2004. "Geografía De Los Cultivos Ilícitos Y Conflicto Armado En Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002766, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
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  11. Skaperdas, S., 1991. "Cooperation, Conflict And Power In The Absence Of Property Rights," Papers 90-91-06a, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  12. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
  13. Kirchhoff, Stefanie & Ibanez, Ana Maria, 2002. "Displacement Due To Violence In Colombia: Determinants And Consequences At The Household Level," Discussion Papers 18754, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  14. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
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