Guns and Butter? Fighting Violence with the Promise of Development

57 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2014 Last revised: 17 Apr 2016

See all articles by Gaurav Khanna

Gaurav Khanna

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Laura Zimmermann

University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 1, 2016

Abstract

There is a growing awareness that government programs may be important in the fight against internal conflict. Using a regression-discontinuity design, we analyze the impact of the world's largest public-works program, the Indian employment guarantee scheme NREGS, on conflict intensity. We argue that NREGS induces civilians to help the police, improving the police's effectiveness at tracking down insurgents, but making civilians vulnerable to retaliation by the rebels. Our empirical results are consistent with this hypothesis but inconsistent with a number of alternative explanations, and suggest that even programs with implementation problems can have important impacts on violence by promising development.

Keywords: public works program, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, NREGA, NREGS, India, regression discontinuity design, terrorism, Naxalites, Maoists, conflict, insurgency, civil war

JEL Classification: H12, H53, H56, I38

Suggested Citation

Khanna, Gaurav and Zimmermann, Laura, Guns and Butter? Fighting Violence with the Promise of Development (April 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2426832 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2426832

Gaurav Khanna

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econgaurav.com

Laura Zimmermann (Contact Author)

University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

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