Economists on Conflict
(Author: Thomas Flores) When voters around the world cast ballots, it is often with bullets on their minds. Voting during civil conflict is sadly frequent and elections can also prompt violence. Despite this, elections are still seen as a means to bolster the peace after war ends, hinting at a deeper trend: elections and violence seem inextricably connected.
(Author: Esteban F. Klor) Terrorism is an important but complex issue that affects many countries. While we have a good understanding of the determinants behind terror campaigns, very little attention has been paid to the question of whether terrorism is an effective strategy for coercing the targeted country to grant political and territorial concessions. The lack of research is surprising, given that the answer to this question is critical to understanding why terror exists at all, and why it appears to be increasing in many parts of the world.
(Author: Michael Brzoska) A recently published report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the first to address the question of whether climate change is a causal factor for violent conflict. While earlier IPCC assessments only touched on this issue briefly—for instance by indicating the risk of future water wars—a number of sections of the new report deal with the consequences of climate change for the incidence of violence. However, not all sections of the new report give the same message.
(Authors: Francesco Amodio and Michele Di Maio) Being an entrepreneur is a difficult activity, and being an entrepreneur in a developing country is even more difficult. But being an entrepreneur in a developing country affected by a violent conflict situation seems almost impossible. In fact, it is not.
(Author: Eleonora Nillesen) While corruption may be rampant across the world it is not always visible or easily observable. Asking people about their perceptions of corruption in local governance poses a similar problem, as they may not be willing to give their true opinion of their local leaders. However, if corruption is as prevalent and costly as people suggest, we are clearly in need of better evidence on how much corruption there is, and how it affects the daily lives of poor people.