Renewable Resource Shocks and Conflict in India's Maoist Belt

38 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2013

See all articles by Devesh Kapur

Devesh Kapur

University of Pennsylvania - Center for the Advanced Study of India; Center for Global Development

Kishore Gawande

University of Texas at Austin

Shanker Satyanath

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Date Written: August 27, 2012

Abstract

Is there a causal relationship between shocks to renewable natural resources, such as agricultural and forest lands, and the intensity of conflict? In this paper, we conduct a rigorous econometric analysis of a civil conflict that the Indian Prime Minister has called the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by his country, the so-called Maoist conflict. We focus on over-time within-district variation in the intensity of conflict in the states where this conflict is primarily located. Using a novel data set of killings, we find that adverse renewable resource shocks have a robust, significant association with the intensity of conflict. A one standard deviation decrease in our measure of renewable resources increases killings by 12.5 percent contemporaneously, 9.7 percent after a year, and 42.2 percent after two years. Our instrumental variables strategy allows us to interpret these findings in a causal manner.

Keywords: natural resource shock, Maoist, food and agriculture, econometrics

JEL Classification: Q00, Q01, Q34

Suggested Citation

Kapur, Devesh and Gawande, Kishore and Satyanath, Shanker, Renewable Resource Shocks and Conflict in India's Maoist Belt (August 27, 2012). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 302, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2226497 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2226497

Devesh Kapur (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Center for the Advanced Study of India ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/casi/about/devesh.html

Center for Global Development

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Kishore Gawande

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

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Austin, TX 78712
United States

Shanker Satyanath

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States

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