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Civil Conflict and Voting Behavior: Evidence

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  • Jorge Gallego

Abstract

What are the effects of war on political behavior? Colombia is an interesting case in which conflict and elections coexist, and illegal armed groups intentionally affect electoral outcomes. Nonetheless, groups use different strategies to alter these results. This paper argues that differential effects of violence on electoral outcomes are the result of deliberate strategies followed by illegal groups, which in turn, are a consequence of military conditions that differ between them. Using panel data from Senate elections from 1994 to 2006 and an instrumental variable approach to address potential endogeneity concerns, this paper shows that guerrilla violence decreases turnout, while paramilitary violence has no effect on participation, but reduces electoral competition and benefits non-traditional third parties. FARC violence is significantly higher during election years, while paramilitary violence is lower. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the guerrilla’s strategy is to sabotage elections, while paramilitaries establish alliances with certain candidates

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Gallego, 2016. "Civil Conflict and Voting Behavior: Evidence," Documentos de Trabajo 15162, Universidad del Rosario.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000092:015162
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Iván Higuera-Mendieta, 2017. "Control armado y comportamiento electoral: Un cuasi-experimento en el Caguán," Documentos de Trabajo Sobre Economía Regional y Urbana 15623, Banco de la República, Economía Regional.
    2. Thomas Bassetti & Raul Caruso & Darwin Cortes, 2015. "Behavioral differences in violence: The case of intra-group differences of Paramilitaries and Guerrillas in Colombia," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Politica Economica ispe0073, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    3. Jorge Gallego, 2015. "Natural Disasters and Clientelism: the Case of Floods and Landslides in Colombia," Documentos de Trabajo 12537, Universidad del Rosario.
    4. Mario Chacon, 2017. "In the Line of Fire: Political Violence and Decentralization in Colombia," Working Papers 20170007, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Oct 2017.

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    Keywords

    Conflicto armado; Elecciones; Grupos armados ilegales;
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