Do Working Men Rebel? Insurgency and Unemployment in Iraq and the Philippines
AbstractMost aid spending by governments seeking to rebuild social and political order is based on an opportunity-cost theory of distracting potential recruits. The logic is that gainfully employed young men are less likely to participate in political violence, implying a positive correlation between unemployment and violence in locations with active insurgencies. We test that prediction in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Philippines, using survey data on unemployment and two newly-available measures of insurgency: (1) attacks against government and allied forces; and (2) violence that kills civilians. Contrary to the opportunity-cost theory, the data emphatically reject a positive correlation between unemployment and attacks against government and allied forces (p
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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
- F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism
- H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
- H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
- J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
- 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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-12-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-ARA-2009-12-05 (MENA - Middle East & North Africa)
- NEP-LAB-2009-12-05 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-POL-2009-12-05 (Positive Political Economics)
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