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The political economy of the Maoist conflict in India : an empirical analysis

  • Joseph Flavian Gomes

    ()

This paper contributes to a burgeoning literature that uses sub-national micro data to identify the causes of civil conflicts. In particular, we study the Maoist/Naxalite conflict in India by constructing a comprehensive district level database using conflict data from four different terrorism databases and combining it with socioeconomic and geography data from myriad sources. In addition to exploiting the within country regional heterogeneity, we use the micro structure of the data to construct group-level characteristics. Using data on 360 districts for 3 time periods, we find evidence on how land inequality and lower incomes are important for the Maoist conflict. Moreover, making use of the micro structure of the data we are able to ask whether exclusion of the low castes and tribes from the growth story of India is important. We find that while the income levels of the different ethnic groups are not important, the growth of incomes of Scheduled Tribes significantly decreases the intensity of the conflict. Finally, we show how historical property rights institutions from colonial times that go back centuries can affect present day conflict outcomes through their impact on economic outcomes, social relations and the political environment in the district

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1218.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1218
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