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Modest, Secure, and Informed: Successful Development in Conflict Zones

Author

Listed:
  • Eli Berman
  • Joseph H. Felter
  • Jacob N. Shapiro
  • Erin Troland

Abstract

Most interpretations of prevalent counterinsurgency theory imply that increasing government services reduces rebel violence. Empirically, however, development programs and economic activity sometimes increase violence. Using new panel data on development spending in Iraq, we show that violence-reducing effects of development assistance are greater when: (i) projects are small; (ii) troop strength is high; and (iii) professional development expertise is available. These findings are consistent with an information-centric ("hearts and minds") model, which implies that violence-reduction is greatest when projects are secure, valued by community members, and services derived are conditional on government control of the territory.

Suggested Citation

  • Eli Berman & Joseph H. Felter & Jacob N. Shapiro & Erin Troland, 2013. "Modest, Secure, and Informed: Successful Development in Conflict Zones," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 512-517, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:512-17
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.512
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. World Bank, 2011. "World Development Report 2011
      [Rapport sur le développement dans le monde 2011 : Conflits, sécurité et développement - Abrégé]
      ," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4389.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Khanna, Gaurav & Zimmermann, Laura, 2017. "Guns and butter? Fighting violence with the promise of development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 120-141.
    2. Daniel Karell, 2015. "Aid, Power, and Grievances: Lessons for War and Peace from Rural Afghanistan," Economics of Peace and Security Journal, EPS Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 43-52, October.
    3. Miaari, Sami & Zussman, Asaf & Zussman, Noam, 2014. "Employment restrictions and political violence in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 24-44.
    4. Eli Berman & Mitch Downey & Joseph Felter, 2016. "Expanding Governance as Development: Evidence on Child Nutrition in the Philippines," NBER Working Papers 21849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:eee:wdevel:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:506-522 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Greg Adams, 2015. "Honing the proper edge: CERP and the two-sided potential of military-led development in Afghanistan," Economics of Peace and Security Journal, EPS Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 53-60, October.
    7. Heidi Kaila & Saurabh Singhal & Divya Tuteja, 2017. "Do fences make good neighbours? Evidence from an insurgency in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 158, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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