NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Nation Building Through Foreign Intervention: Evidence from Discontinuities in Military Strategies

Melissa Dell, Pablo Querubin

NBER Working Paper No. 22395
Issued in July 2016
NBER Program(s):Development of the American Economy, Development Economics, Political Economy

This study uses discontinuities in U.S. strategies employed during the Vietnam War to estimate their causal impacts. It identifies the effects of bombing by exploiting rounding thresholds in an algorithm used to target air strikes. Bombing increased the military and political activities of the communist insurgency, weakened local governance, and reduced non-communist civic engagement. The study also exploits a spatial discontinuity across neighboring military regions, which pursued different counterinsurgency strategies. A strategy emphasizing overwhelming firepower plausibly increased insurgent attacks and worsened attitudes towards the U.S. and South Vietnamese government, relative to a hearts and minds oriented approach.

download in pdf format
   (1981 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22395

Published: Melissa Dell & Pablo Querubin, 2018. "Nation Building Through Foreign Intervention: Evidence from Discontinuities in Military Strategies*," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 133(2), pages 701-764.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Acemoglu, Fergusson, Robinson, Romero, and Vargas w22617 The Perils of High-Powered Incentives: Evidence from Colombia's False Positives
Trebbi, Weese, Wright, and Shaver w23475 Insurgent Learning
Abramitzky, Boustan, and Eriksson w22381 Cultural Assimilation during the Age of Mass Migration
Pekkala Kerr and Kerr w22385 Immigrant Entrepreneurship
Fryer w22399 An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us