Can Hearts and Minds Be Bought? The Economics of Counterinsurgency in Iraq
AbstractWe develop and test an economic theory of insurgency motivated by the informal literature and by recent military doctrine. We model a three-way contest between violent rebels, a government seeking to minimize violence by mixing service provision and coercion, and civilians deciding whether to share information about insurgents. We test the model using panel data from Iraq on violence against Coalition and Iraqi forces, reconstruction spending, and community characteristics (sectarian status, socio-economic grievances, and natural resource endowments). Our results support the theory‘s predictions: improved service provision reduces insurgent violence, particularly for smaller projects and since the "surge" began in 2007.
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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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- Eli Berman & Jacob N. Shapiro & Joseph H. Felter, 2011. "Can Hearts and Minds Be Bought? The Economics of Counterinsurgency in Iraq," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 766 - 819.
- F51 - International Economics - - International Relations and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
- F52 - International Economics - - International Relations and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism
- H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O53 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
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