Rebel Governance and Development: The Persistent Effects of Guerrillas in El Salvador

101 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2022 Last revised: 26 Oct 2022

See all articles by Antonella Bandiera

Antonella Bandiera

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

Lelys Dinarte

World Bank

Juan Miguel Jimenez

University of Chicago

Sandra Rozo

World Bank

Maria Micaela Sviatschi

Princeton University

Date Written: September 2022

Abstract

How does rebel governance affect long-term development? We investigate the economic, social, and political consequences of temporary territorial control by guerrillas during the Salvadoran Civil War. During this period, these guerrillas displaced state authorities and promoted the creation of self-governing institutions that embodied local values and openly distrusted the state and elites. Using a spatial regression discontinuity design, we show that areas once under guerrilla control have experienced worse economic outcomes over the last 20 years compared with adjacent areas then controlled by the formal state. Our results suggest that community institutions in guerrilla-controlled areas led to enduring land fragmentation and disengagement with the government. We argue that when non-state actors develop alternative governance institutions, they can lead to negative development effects through lasting norms of distrust of out-groups.

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Suggested Citation

Bandiera, Antonella and Dinarte, Lelys and Jimenez, Juan Miguel and Rozo, Sandra and Sviatschi, Maria Micaela, Rebel Governance and Development: The Persistent Effects of Guerrillas in El Salvador (September 2022). NBER Working Paper No. w30488, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4229111

Antonella Bandiera (Contact Author)

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) ( email )

Av. Camino a Sta. Teresa 930
Col. Héroes de Padierna
Mexico City, D.F. 01000, Federal District 01080
Mexico

Lelys Dinarte

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Juan Miguel Jimenez

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Sandra Rozo

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Maria Micaela Sviatschi

Princeton University ( email )

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

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