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

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Ruben Enikolopov, 2011. "Winning Hearts and Minds through Development Aid: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," Working Papers w0166, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0166
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    File URL: http://www.cefir.ru/papers/WP166.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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.
    5. James D. Fearon, 2004. "Why Do Some Civil Wars Last So Much Longer than Others?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 41(3), pages 275-301, May.
    6. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Addison Tony & Niño-Zarazúa Miguel & Singhal Saurabh & Gisselquist Rachel M., 2015. "Needs vs expediency: Poverty reduction and social development in post-conflict countries," WIDER Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Singhal, Saurabh & Nilakantan, Rahul, 2016. "The economic effects of a counterinsurgency policy in India: A synthetic control analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-17.
    3. Saurabh Singhal & Rahul Nilakantan, 2012. "Naxalite Insurgency and the Economic Benefits of a Unique Robust Security Response," HiCN Working Papers 127, Households in Conflict Network.
    4. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2014. "Highway to Hitler," Working Papers 769, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    5. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2017. "Direct democracy and resource allocation: Experimental evidence from Afghanistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 199-213.
    6. Benjamin Crost & Joseph H. Felter & Hani Mansour & Daniel I. Rees, 2013. "Election Fraud and Post-Election Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines," HiCN Working Papers 158, Households in Conflict Network.
    7. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov, 2014. "Electoral Rules and the Quality of Politicians: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 20082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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