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Local Government Proliferation, Diversity, and Conflict

Author

Listed:
  • Samuel Bazzi

    () (Boston University & BREAD)

  • Matthew Gudgeon

    () (Boston University)

Abstract

The creation of new local governments is a key feature of decentralization in developing countries. This process often causes substantial changes in contestable public resources and the local diversity of the electorate. We exploit the plausibly exogenous timing of new district creation in Indonesia to iden- tify the implications of these changes for violent conflict. Using new geospatial data on violence, we show that allowing for redistricting along group lines can reduce conflict. However, these reductions are undone and even reversed if the newly defined electorates are ethnically polarized, particularly in areas that receive an entirely new seat of government. We identify several mechanisms highlighting the violent contestation of political control.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Bazzi & Matthew Gudgeon, 2016. "Local Government Proliferation, Diversity, and Conflict," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2016-002, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2016-002
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    File URL: https://sites.google.com/site/samuelbazzi/research/BazziGudgeon_Manuscript.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Alesina & Caterina Gennaioli & Stefania Lovo, 2014. "Public Goods and Ethnic Diversity: Evidence from Deforestation in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 20504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Barron, Patrick & Kaiser, Kai & Pradhan, Menno, 2009. "Understanding Variations in Local Conflict: Evidence and Implications from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 698-713, March.
    5. Pelle Ahlerup & Ola Olsson, 2012. "The roots of ethnic diversity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 71-102, June.
    6. Fitria Fitrani & Bert Hofman & Kai Kaiser, 2005. "Unity in diversity? The creation of new local governments in a decentralising Indonesia," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(1), pages 57-79.
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    11. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Melissa Dell & Nathaniel Lane & Pablo Querubin, 2017. "The Historical State, Local Collective Action, and Economic Development in Vietnam," NBER Working Papers 23208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Blesse, Sebastian, 2018. "Subnational border reforms and economic development in Africa," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-027, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; Polarization; Ethnic Diversity; Decentralization;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts

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