IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/14606.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can Hearts and Minds Be Bought? The Economics of Counterinsurgency in Iraq

Author

Listed:
  • Eli Berman
  • Jacob N. Shapiro
  • Joseph H. Felter

Abstract

We develop and test an economic theory of insurgency motivated by the informal literature and by recent military doctrine. We model a three-way contest between violent rebels, a government seeking to minimize violence by mixing service provision and coercion, and civilians deciding whether to share information about insurgents. We test the model using panel data from Iraq on violence against Coalition and Iraqi forces, reconstruction spending, and community characteristics (sectarian status, socio-economic grievances, and natural resource endowments). Our results support the theory's predictions: improved service provision reduces insurgent violence, particularly for smaller projects and since the "surge" began in 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Eli Berman & Jacob N. Shapiro & Joseph H. Felter, 2008. "Can Hearts and Minds Be Bought? The Economics of Counterinsurgency in Iraq," NBER Working Papers 14606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14606
    Note: IFM PE POL PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14606.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Berman, Eli & Laitin, David D., 2008. "Religion, terrorism and public goods: Testing the club model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1942-1967, October.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:75-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Laurence Iannaccone & Eli Berman, 2006. "Religious extremism: The good, the bad, and the deadly," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 109-129, July.
    4. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
    5. Eli Berman, 2003. "Hamas, Taliban and the Jewish Underground: An Economist's View of Radical Religious Militias," NBER Working Papers 10004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. James D. Fearon, 2004. "Why Do Some Civil Wars Last So Much Longer than Others?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 41(3), pages 275-301, May.
    7. Jeremy M. Weinstein, 2005. "Resources and the Information Problem in Rebel Recruitment," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(4), pages 598-624, August.
    8. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    9. Ross, Michael L., 2004. "How Do Natural Resources Influence Civil War? Evidence from Thirteen Cases," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 35-67, February.
    10. James D. Fearon, 2005. "Primary Commodity Exports and Civil War," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(4), pages 483-507, August.
    11. Scott Gates, 2002. "Recruitment and Allegiance," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(1), pages 111-130, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:nbr:nberwo:14606. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.