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'Unfinished Business': Historic Complementarities, Political Competition and Ethnic Violence in Gujarat

In: Economics of Religion and Culture

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  • Saumitra Jha

Abstract

I examine how the historical legacies of inter-ethnic complementarity and competition interact with contemporary electoral competition in shaping patterns of ethnic violence. Using local comparisons within Gujarat, a single Indian state known for both its non-violent local traditions and for widespread ethnic pogroms in 2002, I provide evidence that where political competition was focused upon towns where ethnic groups have historically competed, there was a rise in the propensity for ethnic rioting and increased electoral support for the incumbent party complicit in the violence. However, where political competition was focused in towns that historically enjoyed inter-ethnic complementarities, there were fewer ethnic riots, and these towns also voted against the incumbent. These historic legacies proved to be important predictors of the identity of the winner even in very close electoral races. I argue that these results reflect the role local inter-ethnic economic relations can play in altering the nature and the benefits of political campaigns that encourage ethnic violence.
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Suggested Citation

  • Saumitra Jha, 2013. "'Unfinished Business': Historic Complementarities, Political Competition and Ethnic Violence in Gujarat," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of Religion and Culture, pages 18-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:13251
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Iyer, S. & Shrivastava, A. & Ticku, R., 2017. "Holy Wars? Temple desecrations in Medieval India," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1705, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Bharatee Bhusana, Ferris, J Stephen Dash & Stanley L. Winer, 2018. "Measuring Electoral Competitiveness: With Application to the Indian States," CESifo Working Paper Series 7216, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Iyer, Sriya & Shrivastava, Anand, 2018. "Religious riots and electoral politics in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 104-122.
    4. Finley, Theresa & Koyama, Mark, 2016. "Plague, Politics, and Pogroms: The Black Death, Rule of Law, and the persecution of Jews in the Holy Roman Empire," MPRA Paper 72110, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Francesco D'Acunto & Marcel Prokopczuk & Michael Weber, 2017. "Historical Antisemitism, Ethnic Specialization, and Financial Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 6643, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Rohit Ticku, 2015. "Riot Rewards? Study of BJP's Electoral Performance and Hindu Muslim Riots," IHEID Working Papers HEIDWP19-2015, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    7. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2017. "1807: Economic shocks, conflict and the slave trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 66-76.
    8. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:276-293 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Grosfeld, Irena & Sakalli, Seyhun Orcan & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2017. "Middleman Minorities and Ethnic Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms in the Russian Empire," CEPR Discussion Papers 12154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N25 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

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