Guns and Butter? Fighting Violence with the Promise of Development

70 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015

See all articles by Hendro Wibowo

Hendro Wibowo

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Laura Zimmermann

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; University of Oxford

Abstract

There is growing awareness that development-oriented government policies may be an important counterinsurgency strategy, but existing papers are usually unable to disentangle various mechanisms. Using a regression-discontinuity design, we analyze the impact of one of the world's largest anti-poverty programs, India's NREGS, on the intensity of Maoist conflict. We find short-run increases of insurgency-related violence, police-initiated attacks, and insurgent attacks on civilians. We discuss how these results relate to established theories in the literature. The main mechanism consistent with the empirical patterns is that NREGS induces civilians to share more information with the state, improving police effectiveness.

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

Wibowo, Hendro and Zimmermann, Laura, Guns and Butter? Fighting Violence with the Promise of Development. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9160, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2655109

Hendro Wibowo (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

Laura Zimmermann

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Oxford

Oxford
United Kingdom

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