NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Implications of an Economic Theory of Conflict: Hindu-Muslim Violence in India

Anirban Mitra, Debraj Ray

NBER Working Paper No. 19090
Issued in May 2013
NBER Program(s):   DEV   POL

We model inter-group conflict driven by economic changes within groups. We show that if group incomes are low, increasing group incomes raises violence against that group, and lowers violence generated by it. We then apply the model to data on Hindu-Muslim violence in India. Our main result is that an increase in per-capita Muslim expenditures generates a large and significant increase in future religious conflict. An increase in Hindu expenditures has negative or no effect. These findings speak to the origins of Hindu-Muslim violence in post-Independence India.

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This paper was revised on January 22, 2014

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19090

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