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Veterans, Organizational Skill and Ethnic Cleansing: Evidence from the Partition of South Asia

  • Jha, Saumitra

    (Stanford University)

  • Wilkinson, Steven

    (Yale University)

Can combat experience foster organizational skills that engender political collective action? We use the arbitrary assignment of troops to frontline combat in World War II to identify the effect of combat experience on two channels that change local ethnic composition and future political control: ethnic cleansing and co-ethnic immigration. During the Partition of South Asia in 1947, an environment where national borders were themselves endogenous to ethnic composition, we find that ethnically mixed districts whose veterans gained more combat experience exhibit greater co-ethnic immigration and ethnic cleansing. However, where ethnic groups had been in complementary economic roles or the minority received greater combat experience, there was relatively less minority ethnic cleansing. We interpret these results as reflecting the substitute roles of ethnic cleansing and co-ethnic immigration in altering local ethnic composition to gain political control and the role of combat experience in enhancing organizational skill that facilitates political collective action.

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Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 2092.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2092
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  1. Christopher Blattman, 2008. "From Violence to Voting: War and political participation in Uganda," Working Papers 138, Center for Global Development.
  2. Sebastian Galiani & Mart�n A. Rossi & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2011. "Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 119-36, April.
  3. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521812832 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Ticchi, Davide & Vindigni, Andrea, 2007. "War and Endogenous Democracy," Papers 03-10-2008b, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521012263 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Fletcher, Erin & Iyigun, Murat, 2009. "Cultures, Clashes and Peace," IZA Discussion Papers 4116, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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