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Building Peace: The Impact of Aid on the Labor Market for Insurgents

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Listed:
  • Radha Iyengar
  • Jonathan Monten
  • Matthew Hanson

Abstract

Employment growth could reduce violence during civil conflicts. To determine if increased employment affects violence we analyzed varying employment in development programs run by different US military divisions in Iraqi districts. Employment levels vary with funding periods and the military division in charge. Controlling for variability between districts, we find that a 10% increase in labor-related spending generates a 15-20% decline in labor-intensive insurgent violence. Overall the 10% spending increase is associated with a nearly 10% violence reduction, due to reduction in attacks which kill civilians, but increased attacks against the military. These findings indicate that labor-intensive development programs can reduce violence during insurgencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Radha Iyengar & Jonathan Monten & Matthew Hanson, 2011. "Building Peace: The Impact of Aid on the Labor Market for Insurgents," NBER Working Papers 17297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17297
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    Cited by:

    1. Thiemo Fetzer, 2020. "Can Workfare Programs Moderate Conflict? Evidence from India," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(6), pages 3337-3375.
    2. Marshall Burke & Solomon M. Hsiang & Edward Miguel, 2015. "Climate and Conflict," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 577-617, August.
    3. Thiemo Fetzer & Pedro C. L. Souza & Oliver Vanden Eynde & Austin L. Wright, 2021. "Security Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(7), pages 2275-2308, July.
    4. Saurabh Singhal & Rahul Nilakantan, 2012. "Naxalite Insurgency and the Economic Benefits of a Unique Robust Security Response," HiCN Working Papers 127, Households in Conflict Network.
    5. Travers Barclay Child & Elena Nikolova, 2017. "War and Social Attitudes: Revisiting Consensus Views," HiCN Working Papers 258, Households in Conflict Network.
    6. Willa Friedman, 2013. "Local Economic Conditions and Participation in the Rwandan Genocide," HiCN Working Papers 160, Households in Conflict Network.
    7. Thiemo Fetzer, 2014. "Can Workfare Programs Moderate Violence? Evidence from India," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 053, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    8. Heidi Kaila & Saurabh Singhal & Divya Tuteja, 2017. "Do fences make good neighbours?: Evidence from an insurgency in India," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-158, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Benjamin Crost & Joseph H. Felter & Hani Mansour & Daniel I. Rees, 2013. "Election Fraud and Post-Election Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines," HiCN Working Papers 158, Households in Conflict Network.
    10. Christoph Mikulaschek & Jacob N. Shapiro, 2018. "Lessons on Political Violence from America’s Post–9/11 Wars," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 62(1), pages 174-202, January.
    11. Heidi Kaila & Saurabh Singhal & Divya Tuteja, 2017. "Do fences make good neighbours? Evidence from an insurgency in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 158, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. 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.
    13. Miaari, Sami & Zussman, Asaf & Zussman, Noam, 2014. "Employment restrictions and political violence in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 24-44.
    14. Zürcher, Christoph, 2017. "What Do We (Not) Know About Development Aid and Violence? A Systematic Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 506-522.
    15. Travers Barclay Child, 2017. "We Don’t Need No Education: Reconstruction and Conflict across Afghanistan," HiCN Working Papers 244, Households in Conflict Network.
    16. 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).
    17. Thiemo Fetzer, 2014. "Can Workfare Programs Moderate Violence? Evidence from India," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 53, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    18. Guardado,Jenny & Pennings,Steven Michael, 2020. "The Seasonality of Conflict," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9373, The World Bank.
    19. Eli Berman & Joseph Felter & Ethan Kapstein & Erin Troland, 2012. "Predation, Taxation, Investment, and Violence: Evidence from the Philippines," NBER Working Papers 18375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Benjamin Crost & Joseph H Felter & Hani Mansour & Daniel I Rees, 0. "Narrow Incumbent Victories and Post-Election Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank, vol. 34(3), pages 767-789.
    21. Beath,Andrew & Christia,Fotini & Enikolopov,Ruben & Beath,Andrew & Christia,Fotini & Enikolopov,Ruben, 2012. "Winning hearts and minds through development ? evidence from a field experiment in Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6129, The World Bank.
    22. Anke Hoeffler & Patricia Justino, 2023. "Aid and fragile states," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2023-83, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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