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The Wild West IS Wild: The Homicide Resource Curse

Author

Listed:
  • Mathieu Couttenier

    (University of Lausanne)

  • Pauline Grosjean

    (UNSW - University of New South Wales [Sydney])

  • Marc Sangnier

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

Abstract

We document interpersonal violence as a dimension of the resource curse. We rely on a historical natural experiment in the United States, where mineral discoveries occurred sometimes before, sometimes after formal institutions were established in the county of discovery. In places where mineral discoveries occurred before formal institutions were established, there were more homicides per capita historically and the effect has persisted to this day. Today, the share of homicides and assaults explained by the historical circumstances of mineral discoveries is comparable to the effect of education or income. Our results imply that short-term and quasi-exogenous variations in the institutional environment can lead to large and persistent differences in cultural and institutional development.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathieu Couttenier & Pauline Grosjean & Marc Sangnier, 2017. "The Wild West IS Wild: The Homicide Resource Curse," Post-Print hal-01590002, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01590002
    DOI: 10.1093/jeea/jvw011
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01590002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    1. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:6:p:1564-1610 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Couttenier, Mathieu & Preotu, Veronica & Rohner, Dominic & Thoenig, Mathias, 2016. "The Violent Legacy of Victimization: Post-Conflict Evidence on Asylum Seekers, Crimes and Public Policy in Switzerland," CEPR Discussion Papers 11079, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. repec:eee:jeeman:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:125-152 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Samuel Bazzi & Martin Fiszbein & Mesay Gebresilasse, 2017. "Frontier Culture: The Roots and Persistence of “Rugged Individualism†in the United States," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2018-004, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    5. James, Alexander & Smith, Brock, 2017. "There will be blood: Crime rates in shale-rich U.S. counties," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 125-152.
    6. Bazzi, Samuel & Fiszbein, Martin & Gebresilasse, Mesay, 2017. "Frontier Culture: The Roots and Persistence of Rugged Individualism in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 12406, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Nicolas Berman & Mathieu Couttenier & Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig, 2017. "This Mine Is Mine! How Minerals Fuel Conflicts in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(6), pages 1564-1610, June.
    8. Rodriguez Acosta, Mauricio, 2016. "Essays in political economy and resource economic : A macroeconomic approach," Other publications TiSEM 1e39ef1b-43a2-4f95-892c-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    9. Mauricio Rodriguez & Sjak Smulders, 2016. "Dynamic Resource Management under Weak Property Rights: A Tale of Thieves and Trespassers," CESifo Working Paper Series 6019, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Juan Camilo Castillo, Daniel Mejia, and Pascual Restrepo, 2014. "Scarcity without Leviathan: The Violent Effects of Cocaine Supply Shortages in the Mexican Drug War - Working Paper 356," Working Papers 356, Center for Global Development.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economie quantitative;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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