NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Saumitra Jha

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Working Papers

July 2013"Unfinished Business": Ethnic Complementarities and the Political Contagion of Peace and Conflict in Gujarat
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I examine how the historical legacies of inter-ethnic complementarity and competition influence contemporary electoral competition and its effects on patterns of ethnic violence. Using local comparisons within Gujarat, a single Indian state known for its non-violent local traditions yet also for widespread ethnic pogroms in 2002, I provide evidence that while towns with close votes in the preceding state elections do predict an increased incidence of ethnic riots, these effects are diminished in medieval port towns that historically enjoyed exogenous inter-ethnic complementarities. Furthermore, unlike other towns where pre-riot electoral competitiveness coincided with historic inter-ethnic competition and where the ruling party reaped well-targeted electoral dividends from the riots, medie...

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