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The Wild West is Wild: The Homicide Resource Curse

We document interpersonal violence as a dimension of the resource curse. We rely on a historical natural experiment in the United States, where mineral discoveries occurred sometimes before, sometimes after formal institutions were established in the county of discovery. In places where mineral discoveries occurred before formal institutions were established, there were more homicides per capita historically and the effect has persisted to this day. Today, the share of homicides and assaults explained by the historical circumstances of mineral discoveries is comparable to the effect of education or income. Our results imply that short-term and quasi-exogenous variations in the institutional environment can lead to large and persistent differences in cultural and institutional development.

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Paper provided by Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France in its series AMSE Working Papers with number 1605.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2016
Date of revision: Feb 2016
Handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1605
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.amse-aixmarseille.fr/en

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