IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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

  • Gomes, Joseph Flavian

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

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía in its series UC3M Working papers. Economics with number we1218.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1218
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alesina, Alberto & Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2013. "Ethnic Inequality," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 155, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. José G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2005. "Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict, and Civil Wars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 796-816, June.
  3. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
  4. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 005, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  5. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "Investor Protection and Corporate Governance," Working Paper 19455, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  6. Frances Stewart, . "Crisis Prevention: Tackling Horizontal Inequalities," QEH Working Papers qehwps33, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  7. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pedro Dal Bó, 2011. "Workers, Warriors, And Criminals: Social Conflict In General Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 646-677, 08.
  8. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  9. Stanley L Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economics," NBER Working Papers 9259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  11. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," NBER Working Papers 12125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
  13. Karen Macours, 2011. "Increasing inequality and civil conflict in Nepal," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 1-26, January.
  14. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
  15. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction, and Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 389-430.
  16. 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.
  17. Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  18. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  19. Fearon, James D. & Laitin, David D., 2011. "Sons of the Soil, Migrants, and Civil War," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 199-211, February.
  20. Oliver Vanden Eynde, 2015. "Targets of violence: evidence from India's Naxalite conflict," PSE Working Papers halshs-01202689, HAL.
  21. Kristian Hoelscher & Jason Miklian & Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati, 2012. "Hearts and mines: A district-level analysis of the Maoist conflict in India," International Area Studies Review, Center for International Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 141-160, June.
  22. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and Grievance in Civil War," Development and Comp Systems 0409007, EconWPA.
  23. Philip Verwimp, 2003. "Micro-level Evidence from Rwanda," HiCN Working Papers 08, Households in Conflict Network.
  24. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War," NBER Working Papers 14801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "History Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," Working Papers id:2811, eSocialSciences.
  26. 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.
  27. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053, September.
  29. Lakshmi Iyer, 2009. "The Bloody Millennium: Internal Conflict in South Asia," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-086, Harvard Business School.
  30. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
  31. 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.
  32. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-17, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  33. Barron, Patrick & Kaiser, Kai & Pradhan, Menno, 2009. "Understanding Variations in Local Conflict: Evidence and Implications from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 698-713, March.
  34. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2004. "Ethnic polarization, potential conflict and civil wars," Economics Working Papers 770, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2005.
  36. Devash Kapur, Kishore Gawande, Shanker Satyanath, 2012. "Renewable Resource Shocks and Conflict in India’s Maoist Belt," Working Papers 302, Center for Global Development.
  37. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  38. Braaten, Ragnhild Haugli, 2014. "Land Rights and Community Cooperation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 127-141.
  39. Marshall Burke & John Dykema & David Lobell & Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath, 2010. "Climate and Civil War: Is the Relationship Robust?," NBER Working Papers 16440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. 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.
  41. Bardhan, Pranab, 1997. "Method in the madness? a political-economy analysis of the ethnic conflicts in less developed countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1381-1398, September.
  42. Rohini Pande, 2003. "Can Mandated Political Representation Increase Policy Influence for Disadvantaged Minorities? Theory and Evidence from India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1132-1151, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1218. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ana Poveda)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.