IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp12650.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do Perceptions of Economic Well-Being Predict the Onset of War and Peace?

Author

Listed:
  • Swee, Eik

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Zhan, Haikun

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

    () (University of Warwick)

Abstract

While economic deprivation is an important determinant of civil conflict, it cannot completely explain the incentives for warfare. In irregular wars, for example, both incumbents and insurgents may employ various tactics to win the hearts and minds of civilians in order to muster territorial control. This paper considers whether and to what extent civilian perception of economic well-being, possibly influenced by such tactics, predicts war and peace onset. Using unique data bracketing the onset of the Nepalese Civil War, we find that higher levels of perceived income adequacy are associated with later war onset during periods of rebel recruitment, and with earlier peace onset in general. These results hold regardless of whether we account for actual economic circumstance, and are especially strong among marginalised communities. Our results suggest that civilian perception of well-being ought to be considered seriously as a determinant of war and peace.

Suggested Citation

  • Swee, Eik & Zhan, Haikun & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2019. "Do Perceptions of Economic Well-Being Predict the Onset of War and Peace?," IZA Discussion Papers 12650, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12650
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp12650.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew J. Oswald & Eugenio Proto & Daniel Sgroi, 2015. "Happiness and Productivity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 789-822.
    2. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2008. "Subjective welfare, isolation, and relative consumption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-60, April.
    3. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
    4. Coupe, Tom & Obrizan, Maksym, 2016. "The impact of war on happiness: The case of Ukraine," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 228-242.
    5. Khanna, Gaurav & Zimmermann, Laura, 2017. "Guns and butter? Fighting violence with the promise of development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 120-141.
    6. Eli Berman & Jacob N. Shapiro & Joseph H. Felter, 2011. "Can Hearts and Minds Be Bought? The Economics of Counterinsurgency in Iraq," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 766-819.
    7. Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2014. "US Food Aid and Civil Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1630-1666, June.
    8. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "The Logic of Political Violence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1411-1445.
    9. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    10. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
    11. Shikha Silwal, 2013. "A spatial-temporal analysis of civil war: The case of Nepal," Economics of Peace and Security Journal, EPS Publishing, vol. 8(2), pages 20-25, October.
    12. Robert J. B. Goudie & Sach Mukherjee & Jan-Emmanuel Neve & Andrew J. Oswald & Stephen Wu, 2014. "Happiness as a Driver of Risk-avoiding Behaviour: Theory and an Empirical Study of Seatbelt Wearing and Automobile Accidents," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(324), pages 674-697, October.
    13. repec:hrv:faseco:30410811 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. 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.
    15. Panza, Laura & Swee, Eik, 2020. "Inter-Ethnic Income Inequality and Conflict Intensification in Mandate Palestine," CEPR Discussion Papers 14366, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Mitra, Anirban & Mitra, Shabana, 2020. "Redistribution of Economic Resources due to Conflict: The Maoist Uprising in Nepal," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 578-604.
    17. Robert J. B. Goudie & Sach Mukherjee & Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Andrew J. Oswald & Stephen Wu, 2011. "Happiness as a Driver of Risk-Avoiding Behavior," CESifo Working Paper Series 3451, CESifo.
    18. Andrea Guariso & Thorsten Rogall, 2017. "Rainfall Inequality, Political Power, and Ethnic Conflict in Africa," LICOS Discussion Papers 39117, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    19. Stathis N. Kalyvas & Matthew Adam Kocher, 2009. "The Dynamics of Violence in Vietnam: An Analysis of the Hamlet Evaluation System (HES)," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 46(3), pages 335-355, May.
    20. Helge Holtermann, 2016. "Relative Capacity and the Spread of Rebellion," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 60(3), pages 501-529, April.
    21. Pivovarova, Margarita & Swee, Eik Leong, 2015. "Quantifying the Microeconomic Effects of War Using Panel Data: Evidence From Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 308-321.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kaila, Heidi & Singhal, Saurabh & Tuteja, Divya, 2020. "Development programs, security, and violence reduction: Evidence from an insurgency in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    2. Fetzer, Thiemo, 2019. "Can Workfare Programs Moderate Conflict? Evidence from India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 436, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. Fetzer, Thiemo, 2019. "Can Workfare Programs Moderate Conflict? Evidence from India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1220, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Lei, Yu-Hsiang & Michaels, Guy, 2014. "Do giant oilfield discoveries fuel internal armed conflicts?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 139-157.
    5. Kimbrough, Erik O. & Laughren, Kevin & Sheremeta, Roman, 2020. "War and conflict in economics: Theories, applications, and recent trends," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 998-1013.
    6. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2017. "1807: Economic shocks, conflict and the slave trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 66-76.
    7. Edoardo Chiarotti & Nathalie Monnet, 2019. "Hit them in the Wallet! An Analysis of the Indian Demonetization as a Counter-Insurgency Policy," IHEID Working Papers 03-2019, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    8. Krause, Annabelle, 2013. "Don’t worry, be happy? Happiness and reemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-20.
    9. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Frode Martin Nordvik & Andrea Tesei, 2017. "Oil and Civil Conflict: On and Off (Shore)," Working Papers 810, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    10. Tillman Hönig, 2019. "The Impact of Peace: Evidence from Nigeria," HiCN Working Papers 293, Households in Conflict Network.
    11. M. Christian Lehmann, 2020. "Aiding refugees, aiding peace?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 22(5), pages 1687-1704, September.
    12. Yashodhan Ghorpade, 2020. "Calamity, Conflict, and Cash Transfers: How Violence Affects Access to Aid in Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(4), pages 1131-1184.
    13. Martínez, Luis R., 2017. "Transnational insurgents: Evidence from Colombia's FARC at the border with Chávez's Venezuela," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 138-153.
    14. Hannes Mueller & Dominic Rohner & David Schoenholzer, 2013. "Tectonic Boundaries and Strongholds: The Religious Geography of Violence in Northern Ireland," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 13.04, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
    15. Dominic Rohner, 2018. "Success Factors for Peace Treaties: A Review of Theory and Evidence," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 18.08, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
    16. Daniel Karell & Sebastian Schutte, 2018. "Aid, exclusion, and the local dynamics of insurgency in Afghanistan," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 55(6), pages 711-725, November.
    17. Cordella, Tito & Onder, Harun, 2020. "Sharing oil rents and political violence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    18. Thiemo Fetzer & Samuel Marden, 2017. "Take What You Can: Property Rights, Contestability and Conflict," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(601), pages 757-783, May.
    19. Hönig, Tillman, 2017. "The Impact of Peace: Evidence from Nigeria," MPRA Paper 83302, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Mueller, Hannes & Rohner, Dominic & Sch�nholzer, David, 2017. "The Peace Dividend of Distance: Violence as Interaction Across Space," CEPR Discussion Papers 11897, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic well-being; war onset; peace onset; Nepal;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12650. 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: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.