Mapping Local State Capacity

55 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2022 Last revised: 8 Nov 2022

See all articles by Gustav Agneman

Gustav Agneman

Lund University

Kasper Brandt

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Christoffer Cappelen

University of Copenhagen, Department of Political Science

David Sjöberg

Independent

Date Written: August 8, 2022

Abstract

The ability of states to exercise authority often varies considerably within their borders. Yet, the empirical literature on state capacity has typically relied on country-level indicators of state capacity. In this paper, we develop a measure of local state capacity for all five-kilometer grid cells across Sub-Saharan Africa. The measure builds on geocoded survey data on local state presence, which we predict and extrapolate through a machine learning model using readily available data on the costs and benefits of capacity building across space. We showcase the usefulness of measuring state capacity at a local level by employing the index as a moderating factor in the relationship between oil wealth and violent conflict and show that areas with higher levels of state capacity face lower risks of conflict outbreak due to exogenous oil wealth shocks.

Keywords: State capacity, machine learning, armed conflict

JEL Classification: C23, P48

Suggested Citation

Agneman, Gustav and Brandt, Kasper and Cappelen, Christoffer and Sjöberg, David, Mapping Local State Capacity (August 8, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4184751 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4184751

Gustav Agneman (Contact Author)

Lund University ( email )

Box 52
Lund
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://gustavagneman.com

Kasper Brandt

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5, Bygn 26
Copenhagen, 1353
Denmark

Christoffer Cappelen

University of Copenhagen, Department of Political Science ( email )

Copenhagen
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://https://ccappelen.github.io

David Sjöberg

Independent

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