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Trading hard hats for combat helmets: The economics of rebellion in eastern Ukraine

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  • Zhukov, Yuri M.

Abstract

Using new micro-level data on violence in Eastern Ukraine, this paper evaluates the relative merits of ‘identity-based’ and ‘economic’ explanations of civil conflict. The first view expects rebellion to be most likely in areas home to the geographic concentration of ethnolinguistic minorities. The second expects more rebel activity where the opportunity costs of insurrection are low. Evidence from the armed conflict in Ukraine supports the second view more than the first. A municipality’s prewar employment mix is a more robust predictor of rebel activity than local ethnolinguistic composition. Municipalities more exposed to trade shocks with Russia experienced a higher intensity of rebel violence throughout the conflict. Such localities also fell under rebel control earlier – and took longer for the government to liberate – than municipalities where the labor force was less dependent on exports to Russia.

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  • Zhukov, Yuri M., 2016. "Trading hard hats for combat helmets: The economics of rebellion in eastern Ukraine," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:44:y:2016:i:1:p:1-15
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2015.10.010
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Havlik & Artem Kochnev & Olga Pindyuk, 2020. "Economic Challenges and Costs of Reintegrating the Donbas Region in Ukraine," wiiw Research Reports 447, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    2. van Weezel, Stijn, 2020. "Local warming and violent armed conflict in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    3. Osiichuk, Maryna & Shepotylo, Oleksandr, 2020. "Conflict and well-being of civilians: The case of the Russian-Ukrainian hybrid war," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 44(1).
    4. Brian Fabo, 2020. "The English and Russian Language Proficiency Premium in the post-Maidan Ukraine – an Analysis of Web Survey Data," Discussion Papers 57, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
    5. Nicholas Sambanis & Stergios Skaperdas & William Wohlforth, 2017. "External Intervention, Identity, and Civil War," Working Papers 161705, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    6. Huber, Martin & Tyahlo, Svitlana, 2016. "How war affects political attitudes: evidence from eastern Ukraine," FSES Working Papers 472, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    7. Coupe, Tom & Obrizan, Maksym, 2016. "The impact of war on happiness: The case of Ukraine," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 228-242.
    8. Artem Kochnev, 2019. "Dying Light: War and Trade of the Separatist-Controlled Areas of Ukraine," wiiw Working Papers 161, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    9. Stijn van Weezel, 2018. "Apocalypse now? - Climate change and war in Africa," Working Papers 201816, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    10. Vera Mironova & Sam Whitt, 2020. "Mobilizing civilians into high-risk forms of violent collective action," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 57(3), pages 391-405, May.
    11. Brock, Gregory, 2019. "A remote sensing look at the economy of a Russian region (Rostov) adjacent to the Ukrainian crisis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 416-431.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • 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
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy

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