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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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  1. Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
  2. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
  3. Anirban Mitra & Debraj Ray, 2013. "Implications of an Economic Theory of Conflict: Hindu-Muslim Violence in India," NBER Working Papers 19090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth Lee Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development among New World Economies," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  6. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 1998. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction and Growth: Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 13, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  7. Borooah, Vani, 2008. "Deprivation, Violence, and Conflict: An Analysis of Naxalite Activity in the Districts of India," MPRA Paper 19425, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2013. "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1384-1421.
  9. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  10. Karen Macours, 2011. "Increasing inequality and civil conflict in Nepal," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 1-26, January.
  11. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
  12. Lakshmi Iyer, 2009. "The Bloody Millennium: Internal Conflict in South Asia," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-086, Harvard Business School.
  13. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "Geography, poverty and conflict in Nepal," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(6), pages 735-748, November.
  14. Philip Verwimp, 2003. "Micro-level Evidence from Rwanda," HiCN Working Papers 08, Households in Conflict Network.
  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.
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