Modest, Secure and Informed: Successful Development in Conflict Zones

39 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2013

See all articles by Eli Berman

Eli Berman

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Joseph Felter

Stanford University

Jacob N. Shapiro

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Erin Troland

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Date Written: February 2013

Abstract

Most interpretations of prevalent counterinsurgency theory imply that increasing government services will reduce rebel violence. Empirically, however, development programs and economic activity sometimes yield increased violence. Using new panel data on development spending in Iraq, we show that violence reducing effects of aid are greater when (a) projects are small, (b) troop strength is high, and (c) professional development expertise is available. These findings are consistent with a "hearts and minds" model, which predicts that violence reduction will result when projects are secure, valued by community members, and implementation is conditional on the behavior of non-combatants.

Suggested Citation

Berman, Eli and Felter, Joseph and Shapiro, Jacob N. and Troland, Erin, Modest, Secure and Informed: Successful Development in Conflict Zones (February 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w18674. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2214220

Eli Berman (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508
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858-534-2858 (Phone)
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Joseph Felter

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States

Jacob N. Shapiro

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1013
United States

Erin Troland

U.S. Department of the Treasury ( email )

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20220
United States

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