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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. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 2000. "Socioeconomic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: Evidence from panel data of the German states," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 75-106, March.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.

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