Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1809677
 
 

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Winning Hearts and Minds through Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan


Andrew Beath


World Bank - East Asia and Pacific Region

Fotini Christia


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science

Ruben Enikolopov


Institute of Political Economy and Governance; ICREA; Universitat Pompeu Fabra; New Economic School; Barcelona GSE

April 25, 2016

MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2011-14

Abstract:     
Development programs have been increasingly used not only as an instrument for economic and political development, but also as a tool for counterinsurgency. We explore the effectiveness of this approach using a large-scale randomized field experiment in Afghanistan. We find that the effects of development aid on violence vary significantly across regions. Specifically, while aid from the country’s largest development program reduced violence in provinces that do not border Pakistan, it increased conflict in areas on that border. This difference is consistent with the hypothesis that border regions rely on insurgent recruitment from Pakistan, rendering local population support less salient. This allows insurgents in the border areas to attack villagers receiving aid as a way to sabotage the program and curb civilian support for the government.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

Keywords: conflict, field experiment, Afghanistan

JEL Classification: F51, H43, H56


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Date posted: April 19, 2011 ; Last revised: April 26, 2016

Suggested Citation

Beath, Andrew and Christia, Fotini and Enikolopov, Ruben, Winning Hearts and Minds through Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan (April 25, 2016). MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2011-14. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1809677 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1809677

Contact Information

Andrew Beath
World Bank - East Asia and Pacific Region ( email )
Washington, DC 20433
United States
Fotini Christia (Contact Author)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science ( email )
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Ruben Enikolopov
Institute of Political Economy and Governance ( email )
Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
ICREA ( email )
Passeig Lluís Companys, 23
Barcelona, 08010
Spain
Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )
Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, E-08005
Spain
New Economic School ( email )
47 Nakhimovsky Prospekt
Moscow, 117418
Russia
Barcelona GSE ( email )
Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain
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