Marking Territory: Modeling the Spread of Ethnic Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1992-1995

67 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2018 Last revised: 24 May 2022

See all articles by Charles Becker

Charles Becker

Duke University - Department of Economics

Peter Devine

Government of the United States of America - Navy

Harun Dogo

World Bank

Elizabeth Margolin

Duke University

Date Written: May 20, 2022

Abstract

Abstract: This paper seeks to understand how civil war develops and spreads, focusing on Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). To do this, we explore the variation in nature, severity, and incidence of
conflict during the 1992-1995 war. The conflict narrative is coded by type and date of an
incident; these data are then related to indicators of pre- and post-conflict population
composition, and presence of industrial, transportation, or military infrastructure. We then use
OLS and IV regressions to attempt to identify the community determinants of where and when fighting occurred. We find that ethnic composition is the primary initial determinant of conflict
type and intensity, with more diverse communities suffering more conflict and greater intensity of fighting. We conclude that analysis of post-conflict economic development needs to control for the variation in pre-war ethnic diversity and differences in pre- and post-conflict ethnic composition.

Keywords: transition economies, spread of war, ethnic conflict, Bosnia, Herzegovina

JEL Classification: P29, I31, O52, C69

Suggested Citation

Becker, Charles Maxwell and Devine, Peter and Dogo, Harun and Margolin, Elizabeth, Marking Territory: Modeling the Spread of Ethnic Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1992-1995 (May 20, 2022). Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper No. 266, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3160015 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3160015

Charles Maxwell Becker (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Peter Devine

Government of the United States of America - Navy ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

Harun Dogo

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Elizabeth Margolin

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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