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Winning hearts and minds through development ? evidence from a field experiment in Afghanistan

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  • Beath,Andrew
  • Christia,Fotini
  • Enikolopov,Ruben
  • Beath,Andrew
  • Christia,Fotini
  • Enikolopov,Ruben

Abstract

In areas afflicted by civil conflict, development projects can potentially serve an important counterinsurgency function by redressing grievances of marginalized groups and reducing violence. Using a large-scale randomized field experiment in Afghanistan, this paper explores whether the inclusion of villages in the country's largest development program alters perceptions of well-being, attitudes toward government, and violence in surrounding areas. The results indicate that the program generally has a positive effect on all three measures, but has no effects in areas with high levels of initial violence. These findings demonstrate that development programs can buttress government support and limit the onset of insurgencies in relatively secure areas, but that their effectiveness is more constrained in areas where insurgents are already active.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6129
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    Cited by:

    1. Eli Berman & Michael J. Callen & Clark Gibson & James D. Long, 2014. "Election Fairness and Government Legitimacy in Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 19949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:506-522 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Melissa Dell & Pablo Querubin, 2016. "Nation Building Through Foreign Intervention: Evidence from Discontinuities in Military Strategies," NBER Working Papers 22395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Addison Tony & Niño-Zarazúa Miguel & Singhal Saurabh & Gisselquist Rachel M., 2015. "Needs vs expediency: Poverty reduction and social development in post-conflict countries," WIDER Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Avdeenko, Alexandra & Gilligan, Michael J., 2014. "International interventions to build social capital : evidence from a field experiment in Sudan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6772, The World Bank.
    6. Alexander Libman, 2012. "Learning to Be Different: Quantitative Research in Economics and Political Science," Rationality, Markets and Morals, Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, vol. 3(62), December.
    7. Raymond P. Guiteras & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 2015. "Does Development Aid Undermine Political Accountability? Leader and Constituent Responses to a Large-Scale Intervention," NBER Working Papers 21434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Mario Chacon, 2017. "In the Line of Fire: Political Violence and Decentralization in Colombia," Working Papers 20170007, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Oct 2017.
    9. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2017. "Direct democracy and resource allocation: Experimental evidence from Afghanistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 199-213.
    10. Yashodhan Ghorpade, 2016. "Calamity, Conflict and Cash Transfers: How Violence Affects Access to Aid in Pakistan," HiCN Working Papers 223, Households in Conflict Network.
    11. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2013. "The National Solidarity Programme: Assessing the Effects of Community-Driven Development in Afghanistan," WIDER Working Paper Series 112, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Greg Adams, 2015. "Honing the proper edge: CERP and the two-sided potential of military-led development in Afghanistan," Economics of Peace and Security Journal, EPS Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 53-60, October.
    13. Daniel Karell, 2015. "Aid, Power, and Grievances: Lessons for War and Peace from Rural Afghanistan," Economics of Peace and Security Journal, EPS Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 43-52, October.
    14. Aqib Aslam & Enrico Berkes & Martin Fukac & Jeta Menkulasi & Axel Schimmelpfennig, 2014. "Afghanistan: Balancing Social and Security Spending in the Context of a Shrinking Resource Envelope," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 31(2), pages 165-197, September.
    15. Leonardo Bursztyn & Michael Callen & Bruno Ferman & Saad Gulzar & Ali Hasanain & Noam Yuchtman, 2014. "Identifying Ideology: Experimental Evidence on Anti-Americanism in Pakistan," NBER Working Papers 20153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2012. "Empowering women : evidence from a field experiment in Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6269, The World Bank.
    17. Schultze-Kraft, Markus & Rew, Martin, 2014. "How Does State Fragility Affect Rural Development?," Working Papers 3950, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    18. Fjelde, Hanne, 2015. "Farming or Fighting? Agricultural Price Shocks and Civil War in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 525-534.
    19. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.

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    Keywords

    Labor Policies; Subnational Economic Development; E-Business; Post Conflict Reconstruction; Housing&Human Habitats;

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