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Winning Hearts and Minds through Development Aid: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan

  • Andrew Beath

    ()

    (Department of Government, Harvard University, and the World Bank)

  • Fotini Christia

    ()

    (Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Ruben Enikolopov

    ()

    (The New Economic School)

Development programs have been increasingly used not only as an instrument for economic and political development, but also as a tool for counterinsurgency. Using a large-scale randomized field experiment we test this approach by examining the effect of the largest development program in Afghanistan. We find that the introduction of this program leads to significant improvement in villagers’ economic wellbeing as well as in their attitudes towards government. The program also leads to an improved security situation in the long run. These positive effects on attitudes and security, however, are not observed in districts with high levels of initial violence.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0166.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0166
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  1. Eli Berman & Jacob N. Shapiro & Joseph H. Felter, 2011. "Can Hearts and Minds Be Bought? The Economics of Counterinsurgency in Iraq," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 766 - 819.
  2. Oeindrila Dube & Suresh Naidu, 2010. "Bases, Bullets, and Ballots: The Effect of U.S. Military Aid on Political Conflict in Colombia," Working Papers 197, Center for Global Development.
  3. Eli Berman & Michael Callen & Joseph H. Felter & Jacob N. Shapiro, 2009. "Do Working Men Rebel? Insurgency and Unemployment in Iraq and the Philippines," NBER Working Papers 15547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Luke N. Condra & Joseph H. Felter & Radha K. Iyengar & Jacob N. Shapiro, 2010. "The Effect of Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq," NBER Working Papers 16152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Radha Iyengar & Jonathan Monten, 2008. "Is There an "Emboldenment" Effect? Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq," NBER Working Papers 13839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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