NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Jonathan Monten

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Working Papers

August 2011Building Peace: The Impact of Aid on the Labor Market for Insurgents
with Radha Iyengar, Matthew Hanson: w17297
Employment growth could reduce violence during civil conflicts. To determine if increased employment affects violence we analyzed varying employment in development programs run by different US military divisions in Iraqi districts. Employment levels vary with funding periods and the military division in charge. Controlling for variability between districts, we find that a 10% increase in labor-related spending generates a 15-20% decline in labor-intensive insurgent violence. Overall the 10% spending increase is associated with a nearly 10% violence reduction, due to reduction in attacks which kill civilians, but increased attacks against the military. These findings indicate that labor-intensive development programs can reduce violence during insurgencies.
March 2008Is There an "Emboldenment" Effect? Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq
with Radha Iyengar: w13839
Are insurgents affected by new information about the United States' sensitivity to costs? Using data on attacks and variation in access to international news across Iraqi provinces, we identify an "emboldenment" effect by comparing the rate of insurgent attacks in areas with higher and lower access to information about U.S news after public statements critical of the war. We find that in periods after a spike in war-critical statements, insurgent attacks increases by 7-10 percent, but that this effect dissipates within a month. Additionally, we find that insurgents shift attacks from Iraqi civilian to U.S. military targets following new information about the United States' sensitivity to costs, resulting in more U.S. fatalities but fewer deaths overall. These results suggest that there is ...

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