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Civil Conflict and Voting Behavior: Evidence

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  • Jorge Gallego

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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 015162, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000092:015162
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arzu Kibris, 2011. "Funerals and Elections: The Effects of Terrorism on Voting Behavior in Turkey," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(2), pages 220-247, April.
    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. repec:cup:apsrev:v:104:y:2010:i:03:p:415-429_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    5. Bellows, John & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "War and local collective action in Sierra Leone," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1144-1157, December.
    6. Thad Dunning, 2011. "Fighting and Voting: Violent Conflict and Electoral Politics," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(3), pages 327-339, June.
    7. Hafner-Burton, Emilie M. & Hyde, Susan D. & Jablonski, Ryan S., 2014. "When Do Governments Resort to Election Violence?," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(01), pages 149-179, January.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:108:y:2014:i:03:p:588-604_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2008. "Are Voters Sensitive to Terrorism?: Direct Evidence from the Israeli Electorate," Working Papers 477-1, RAND Corporation.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson & Rafael J. Santos, 2013. "The Monopoly Of Violence: Evidence From Colombia," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 5-44, January.
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    Keywords

    Conflicto armado; Elecciones; Grupos armados ilegales;

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