Behavioral Differences in Violence: The Case of Intra-Group Differences of Paramilitaries and Guerrillas in Colombia

33 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2015

See all articles by Thomas Bassetti

Thomas Bassetti

University of Padova - Department of Economics

Raul Caruso

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Darwin F. Cortes

Universidad del Rosario

Date Written: May 3, 2015

Abstract

In most empirical studies on civil wars, causes and determinants of conflict have been hitherto explored assuming that actors involved were either unitary or stable. However, if this intra-group homogeneity assumption does not hold, empirical econometric estimates may be biased and policy prescriptions are less reliable. We use Fixed Effects Finite Mixture Model (FE-FMM) approach to address this issue. This methodology provides a natural representation of heterogeneity when data originate from different latent classes and the affiliation is unknown. It allows to identify sub-populations within a population as well as the determinants of their behaviors. By combining various data sources for the period 2000-2005, we apply this new technique to the Colombian conflict. Our results confirm a behavioral heterogeneity in guerrilla’s armed groups and their distinct economic correlates so showing that different patterns of behavior exist. By contrast paramilitaries behave as a rather homogenous group.

Keywords: Finite Mixture Models, Colombian Conflict, behavioral differences in conflict

JEL Classification: D74; H72; C46; O15

Suggested Citation

Bassetti, Thomas and Caruso, Raul and Cortes, Darwin F., Behavioral Differences in Violence: The Case of Intra-Group Differences of Paramilitaries and Guerrillas in Colombia (May 3, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2614113 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2614113

Thomas Bassetti

University of Padova - Department of Economics ( email )

via Del Santo 33
Padova, 35123
Italy

Raul Caruso (Contact Author)

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

20123 Milano
Italy

Darwin F. Cortes

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Calle 12 No. 6-25
Bogota, DC
Colombia

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