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Development, democracy, and mass killings

Author

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  • William Easterly

    ()

  • Roberta Gatti
  • Sergio Kurlat

Abstract

Using a newly assembled dataset spanning from 1820 to 1998, we study the relationship between the occurrence and magnitude of episodes of mass killing and the levels of development and democracy across countries and over time. Mass killings appear to be more likely at intermediate levels of income and less likely at very high levels of democracy. However, the estimated relationship between democracy and probability of mass killings is not linear in the full sample. In the 20th century, discrete improvements in democracy are systematically associated with episodes involving fewer victims.
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Suggested Citation

  • William Easterly & Roberta Gatti & Sergio Kurlat, 2006. "Development, democracy, and mass killings," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 129-156, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:11:y:2006:i:2:p:129-156
    DOI: 10.1007/s10887-006-9001-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marta Reynal-Querol, 2002. "Political systems, stability and civil wars," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(6), pages 465-483.
    2. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-573, October.
    3. Scheper-Hughes, Nancy, 1996. "Small wars and invisible genocides," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 889-900, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anderton Charles H. & Carter John R., 2015. "A New Look at Weak State Conditions and Genocide Risk," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 21(1), pages 1-36, January.
    2. Jurgen Brauer & Charles Anderton, 2014. "Economics and Genocide: Choices and Consequences," Working Papers 1408, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    3. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2015. "Strategic Mass Killings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(5), pages 1087-1132.
    4. repec:spr:empeco:v:54:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1214-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2010. "International Commodity Prices, Growth and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 519-534, May.
    6. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    7. Remi Jedwab & Mark Koyama & Noel Johnson, "undated". "Negative Shocks and Mass Persecutions: Evidence from the Black Death," Working Papers 2017-4, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    8. Bakshi, Dripto & Dasgupta, Indraneel, 2016. "Identity Conflict with Cross-Border Spillovers," IZA Discussion Papers 9731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Chyanda Querido, 2009. "State-Sponsored Mass Killing in African Wars—Greed or Grievance?," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 15(3), pages 351-361, August.
    10. repec:oxf:wpaper:wps/2014-08 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Pavel Yakovlev, 2011. "The Economics of Torture," Chapters,in: The Handbook on the Political Economy of War, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Dasgupta, Indraneel & Mukherjee, Diganta, 2014. "Assimilation, Criminality and Ethnic Conflict," IZA Discussion Papers 7924, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Attiat F. Ott & Sang Hoo Bae, 2011. "Modeling Mass Killing: For Gain or Ethnic Cleansing?," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Conflict, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Leander Heldring, 2014. "State Capacity and Violence: Evidence from the Rwandan genocide," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mass killings; Democracy; Growth; N40; O10;

    JEL classification:

    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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