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Why internal conflict deteriorates state capacity? Evidence from Colombian municipalities

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  • Mauricio Cardenas
  • Marcela Eslava
  • Santiago Ramirez

Abstract

Previous work has documented a negative correlation between internal conflict and state capacity. We attempt to shed light on mechanisms that underlie this relationship, using data for Colombian municipalities. We rely on identifying heterogeneous effects of different types of violent events on state capacity, taking advantage of variability across municipalities in the prevalence of specific manifestations of conflict and their intensity. Our findings suggest that events making civilians feel targeted affect the state’s capacity to collect taxes, while those reflecting a stronger military capacity of illegal armies, in particular their large-scale attacks, affect the state’s capacity to provide public goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Mauricio Cardenas & Marcela Eslava & Santiago Ramirez, 2016. "Why internal conflict deteriorates state capacity? Evidence from Colombian municipalities," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(3), pages 353-377, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:defpea:v:27:y:2016:i:3:p:353-377
    DOI: 10.1080/10242694.2014.955668
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1218-1244, September.
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    3. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War: A Review of 50 Years of Research," Working Papers 166, Center for Global Development.
    4. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2008. "Wars and State Capacity," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 522-530, 04-05.
    5. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    6. Mauricio Cárdenas & Marcela Eslava & Santiago Ramírez, 2013. "Do Modern-Time Wars Make States? Panel Data Evidence," Documentos CEDE 011939, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    7. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    8. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
    9. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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