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Building Peace: The Impact of Aid on the Labor Market for Insurgents

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  • Radha Iyengar
  • Jonathan Monten
  • Matthew Hanson

Abstract

Employment growth could reduce violence during civil conflicts. To determine if increased employment affects violence we analyzed varying employment in development programs run by different US military divisions in Iraqi districts. Employment levels vary with funding periods and the military division in charge. Controlling for variability between districts, we find that a 10% increase in labor-related spending generates a 15-20% decline in labor-intensive insurgent violence. Overall the 10% spending increase is associated with a nearly 10% violence reduction, due to reduction in attacks which kill civilians, but increased attacks against the military. These findings indicate that labor-intensive development programs can reduce violence during insurgencies.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17297.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17297

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  1. Radha Iyengar, 2008. "I'd rather be Hanged for a Sheep than a Lamb: The Unintended Consequences of 'Three-Strikes' Laws," NBER Working Papers 13784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Raphael, Steven & WINTER-EBMER, RUDOLF, 1998. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, UC San Diego qt5hb4h56g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  3. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 1998. "Socio-economic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: evidence from panel data of the German states," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 98-16, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Benmelech, Efraim & Berrebi, Claude & Klor, Esteban F., 2010. "Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7995, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Matthew A. Hanson, 2007. "The Economics of Roadside Bombs," Working Papers, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary 68, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  6. 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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 766 - 819.
  7. 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.
  8. Alan B. Krueger & Jitka Maleckova, 2003. "Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 119-144, Fall.
  9. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
  10. Berman, Eli & Laitin, David D., 2008. "Religion, terrorism and public goods: Testing the club model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1942-1967, October.
  11. Collier, Paul, 2008. "The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780195374636, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Crost, Benjamin & Felter, Joseph & Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2013. "Election Fraud and Post-Election Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines," IZA Discussion Papers 7469, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Thiemo Fetzer, 2014. "Can Workfare Programs Moderate Violence? Evidence from India," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE 53, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2012. "Winning hearts and minds through development ? evidence from a field experiment in Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6129, The World Bank.
  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. Sami Miaari & Asaf Zussman & Noam Zussman, 2012. "Employment Restrictions and Political Violence in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 59, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Eli Berman & Joseph Felter & Ethan Kapstein & Erin Troland, 2012. "Predation, Economic Activity and Violence: Evidence from the Philippines," NBER Working Papers 18375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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