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Does inequality make us rebel? A renewed theoretical model applied to South Mexico


  • MAYSTADT, Jean-François


Since Collier and Hoeffler (1998, 2004), it has been supported that inequality, measured at national level, does not affect the risk of conflict. Based on a renewed theoretical framework, the purpose of the paper is to explore the role of inequality in localized conflicts. We argue that previous findings might be biased by the myopic nature of cross-country analysis. Consistently with the model, Probit estimations indicate that income inequality measured at municipal level was significant in motivating people to support the rebellion in South Mexico. At this geographical level, we also find an increase in income per capita could exacerbate the risk of conflict in a situation where the rebel leader would have greater incentives to loot the local production compared to the opportunity cost associated with fighting for the worker.

Suggested Citation

  • MAYSTADT, Jean-François, 2007. "Does inequality make us rebel? A renewed theoretical model applied to South Mexico," CORE Discussion Papers 2007081, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2007081

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-573, October.
    2. repec:fth:oxesaf:98-8 is not listed on IDEAS
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    5. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
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    14. Christopher Cramer, 2003. "Does inequality cause conflict?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 397-412.
    15. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975.
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    More about this item


    rebellion; inequality; income; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions


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