NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Erin Troland

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

Working Papers and Chapters

August 2013Predation, Taxation, Investment and Violence: Evidence from the Philippines
with Eli Berman, Joseph Felter, Ethan Kapstein: w19266
This paper explores the relationship between investment and political violence through several possible mechanisms. Investment as a predictor of future violence implies that low private sector investment today provides a robust indicator of high violence tomorrow. “Rent-capture” or predation asserts that investment increases violence by motivating extortion by insurgents. A “hearts and minds” approach links investment to political violence in two possible ways: through an opportunity cost mechanism by which improved economic conditions raise the cost of rebel recruitment; and through a psychological “gratitude” effect which reduces cooperation of noncombatants with rebels. Finally, tax capture implies that government will increase coercive enforcement in an attempt to control areas where i...
February 2013Modest, Secure and Informed: Successful Development in Conflict Zones
with Eli Berman, Joseph Felter, Jacob N. Shapiro: w18674
Most interpretations of prevalent counterinsurgency theory imply that increasing government services will reduce rebel violence. Empirically, however, development programs and economic activity sometimes yield increased violence. Using new panel data on development spending in Iraq, we show that violence reducing effects of aid are greater when (a) projects are small, (b) troop strength is high, and (c) professional development expertise is available. These findings are consistent with a "hearts and minds" model, which predicts that violence reduction will result when projects are secure, valued by community members, and implementation is conditional on the behavior of non-combatants.

Published: Eli Berman & Joseph H. Felter & Jacob N. Shapiro & Erin Troland, 2013. "Modest, Secure, and Informed: Successful Development in Conflict Zones," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 512-17, May. citation courtesy of

September 2012Predation, Economic Activity and Violence: Evidence from the Philippines
with Eli Berman, Joseph Felter, Ethan Kapstein: w18375
This paper explores the relationship between economic activity and political violence through the lenses provided by several different mechanisms. Investment as a predictor of future violence implies that low private sector investment today provides a robust indicator of high violence tomorrow. “Rent-capture” or predation asserts that economic programs and business investment will increase violence by increasing extortion by insurgents. “Hearts and minds” counterinsurgency has been asserted to link economic activity to political violence in three ways, through an opportunity cost mechanism by which improved economic conditions reduce the cost of rebel recruitment; through a “hope and gratitude” effect by which development assistance generates support for government, reducing cooperation wi...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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