IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Risk of Civil Conflicts as a Determinant of Political Institutions

Listed author(s):
  • Álvaro Aguirre

This paper proposes a specific mechanism to explain differences in political institutions based on the asymmetric and uncertain costs of civil conflicts. Asymmetry implies that the net benefit of fighting an insurgency is not shared equally by members of the elite. But uncertainty implies that these benefits are more evenly distributed ex-ante. The members of the elite face a commitment problem: they would like to commit in advance to a strong response to insurgencies, but ex-post they have the incentives to block any response if the conflict mainly affects other members of the elite. One way of solving this is empowering the executive so he may react forcefully to conflicts, despite the opposition of some fraction of the elite. In the model this group has to decide on the constraints imposed on the executive. Fewer constraints lead to a higher risk of expropriation. But more constraints lead to a suboptimal response to conflicts. The main prediction is that, conditional on asymmetric and uncertain costs, the higher is the likelihood of a civil conflict in the future, the lower are the constraints imposed on the executive. The paper empirically validates this implication using two types of evidence. First, it uses a sample of former colonies that became independent after WWII and geographic variables to identify the exogenous component of the likelihood of civil conflicts at the moment of the independence. Second, the model is used to explain the political events in the Americas after independence. Countries less prone to internal conflicts were the ones that imposed more constraints on the executive during the second half of the nineteenth century.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://si2.bcentral.cl/public/pdf/documentos-trabajo/pdf/dtbc649.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 649.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:649
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Casilla No967, Santiago

Phone: (562) 670 2000
Fax: (562) 698 4847
Web page: http://www.bcentral.cl/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window

  1. Humberto Llavador & Robert Oxoby, 2003. "Partisan competition, growth and the franchise," Economics Working Papers 730, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2004.
  2. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
  4. Francisco Alcalá & Antonio Ciccone, 2004. "Trade and Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 613-646.
  5. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "State capacity, conflict and development," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25426, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2007. "Ruggedness: The blessing of bad geography in Africa," Working Papers 2007-09, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales, revised 01 May 2010.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-293, March.
  8. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  9. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto & Trebbi, Francesco, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," Scholarly Articles 4481498, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2009. "Persistence of Civil Wars," EIEF Working Papers Series 0910, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Sep 2009.
  13. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The origins of state capacity: property rights, taxation and politics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33768, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. Giuranno, Michele G., 2010. "Pooling sovereignty under the subsidiary principle," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 125-136, March.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  16. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2008. "Rain and the democratic window of opportunity," Economics Working Papers 1114, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2009.
  17. John P. Conley & Akram Temimi, 2001. "Endogenous Enfranchisement When Groups' Preferences Conflict," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 79-102, February.
  18. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
  19. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2006. "Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War," CSAE Working Paper Series 2006-10, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  20. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, December.
  21. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," MPRA Paper 4134, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  22. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2007. "Civil War," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
  23. Easterly, William, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 755-776, November.
  24. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
  25. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Why Not a Political Coase Theorem? Social Conflict, Commitment and Politics," NBER Working Papers 9377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Paul Collier & Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Democracy, Development, and Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 531-540, 04-05.
  27. Debraj Ray, 2010. "Uneven Growth: A Framework for Research in Development Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 45-60, Summer.
  28. HÃ¥vard Hegre & Nicholas Sambanis, 2006. "Sensitivity Analysis of Empirical Results on Civil War Onset," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 50(4), pages 508-535, August.
  29. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," NBER Working Papers 13608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2004. "Why did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, with an Application to Britain's "Age of Reform"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 707-765.
  31. Nunn, Nathan & Wantchekon, Leonard, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," Scholarly Articles 11986331, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  32. Hicks, Daniel L., 2013. "War and the political zeitgeist: Evidence from the history of female suffrage," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 60-81.
  33. Ray, Debraj, 2010. "Uneven Growth: A Framework for Research in Development Economics," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 05, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  34. Bates, Robert H. & Coatsworth, John H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Lost Decades: Postindependence Performance in Latin America and Africa," Scholarly Articles 12211559, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  35. Cason, Timothy N. & Mui, Vai-Lam, 2005. "Uncertainty and resistance to reform in laboratory participation games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 708-737, September.
  36. North,Douglass C. & Wallis,John Joseph & Weingast,Barry R., 2013. "Violence and Social Orders," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107646995, December.
  37. Joan-Maria Esteban & Laura Mayoral & Marc Le Menestrel, 2010. "Ethnicity And Conflict: An Empirical Study," Working Papers 482, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  38. Juan Pablo Medina & Alberto Naudon, 2011. "Labor Market Dyncamics in Chile: the Role of Terms of Trade Shocks," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 637, Central Bank of Chile.
  39. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Måns Söderbom, 2008. "Post-Conflict Risks," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 45(4), pages 461-478, July.
  40. Stanley L Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economics," NBER Working Papers 9259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Marcelo J. Moreira, 2003. "A Conditional Likelihood Ratio Test for Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1048, 07.
  42. Louis Putterman & Valerie Bockstette, 2000. "States and Markets:the Advantage of an Early Start," Working Papers 2000-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  43. Pierre Yared & Gerard Padro i Miquel, 2010. "The Political Economy of Indirect Control," 2010 Meeting Papers 306, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  44. Mikusheva, Anna, 2010. "Robust confidence sets in the presence of weak instruments," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 157(2), pages 236-247, August.
  45. Timothy G. Conley & Christian B. Hansen & Peter E. Rossi, 2012. "Plausibly Exogenous," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 260-272, February.
  46. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-1155, December.
  47. Anna Mikusheva & Brian P. Poi, 2006. "Tests and confidence sets with correct size when instruments are potentially weak," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(3), pages 335-347, September.
  48. Marshall Burke & John Dykema & David Lobell & Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath, 2010. "Climate and Civil War: Is the Relationship Robust?," NBER Working Papers 16440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Macartan Humphreys, 2005. "Natural Resources, Conflict, and Conflict Resolution," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(4), pages 508-537, August.
  50. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
  51. Timothy Besley & James A. Robinson, 2010. "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Civilian Control Over the Military," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(2-3), pages 655-663, 04-05.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:649. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Claudio Sepulveda)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.