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Local Government Proliferation, Diversity, and Conflict

Author

Listed:
  • Samuel Bazzi

    (Boston University and The Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD))

  • Matthew Gudgeon

    (Boston University)

Abstract

The creation of new local governments is a pervasive feature of decentralization in developing countries. This redistricting process often causes substantial changes in two widely debated sources of conflict: diversity and contestable public resources. Using new geospatial data on violence and the plausibly exogenous timing of district creation in Indonesia, we show that allowing for redistricting along group lines can reduce conflict. However, these reductions are undone and even reversed if the newly defined electorates are ethnically polarized, particularly in areas that receive an entirely new seat of government. We highlight changes in the salience of ethnic cleavages as a key mechanism driving the violent contestation of political control. Overall, the findings illustrate the policy tradeoffs associated with redistricting and offer novel insight into the instrumental role of ethnicity in shaping conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Bazzi & Matthew Gudgeon, 2016. "Local Government Proliferation, Diversity, and Conflict," Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC) Working Papers 5, Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:esocpu:5
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Caterina Gennaioli & Stefania Lovo, 2019. "Public Goods and Ethnic Diversity: Evidence from Deforestation in Indonesia," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 86(341), pages 32-66, January.
    3. Cisneros, Elías & Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Nuryartono, Nunung, 2021. "Palm oil and the politics of deforestation in Indonesia," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    4. Hao, Yu & Xue, Melanie Meng, 2017. "Friends from afar: The Taiping Rebellion, cultural proximity and primary schooling in the Lower Yangzi, 1850–1949," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 44-69.
    5. Duncan Webb, 2022. "Critical Periods in Cognitive and Socioemotional Development: Evidence from Weather Shocks in Indonesia," PSE Working Papers halshs-03542607, HAL.
    6. Nicolas Gatti & Kathy Baylis & Benjamin Crost, 2021. "Can Irrigation Infrastructure Mitigate the Effect of Rainfall Shocks on Conflict? Evidence from Indonesia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(1), pages 211-231, January.
    7. Lewis, Blane D. & Nguyen, Hieu T.M. & Hendrawan, Adrianus, 2020. "Political accountability and public service delivery in decentralized Indonesia: Incumbency advantage and the performance of second term mayors," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    8. Thiemo Fetzer & Samuel Marden, 2016. "Take what you can: property rights, contestability and conflict," Working Paper Series 9216, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    9. Nguyen, Hieu T.M., 2019. "Do more educated neighbourhoods experience less property crime? Evidence from Indonesia," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 27-37.
    10. Melissa Dell & Nathan Lane & Pablo Querubin, 2018. "The Historical State, Local Collective Action, and Economic Development in Vietnam," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(6), pages 2083-2121, November.
    11. Duncan Webb, 2022. "Critical Periods in Cognitive and Socioemotional Development: Evidence from Weather Shocks in Indonesia," Working Papers halshs-03542607, HAL.
    12. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Blesse, Sebastian, 2019. "Subnational border reforms and economic development in Africa," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-027, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    13. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2020. "Historical Legacies and African Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(1), pages 53-128, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Indonesia; Violence; Political Development; Demographic/Socioeconomic;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts

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