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Dams mitigate the effect of rainfall shocks on Hindus-Muslims riots

Sébastien Mary ()

World Development, 2022, vol. 150, issue C

Abstract: Sarsons (2015) finds that, while agricultural income in India is less sensitive to rainfall in dam-fed districts, rainfall shocks have a larger (or equally large) effect on religious riots between Muslims and Hindus in dam-fed districts than in rain-fed districts. This is inconsistent with agricultural income being the sole channel through which rainfall affects religious conflict in India. In this comment, we show that this result originates from the use of state-specific time trends and interaction models. Once we replace state-specific time trends with state-year fixed effects (in slit sample regressions) and allow state-year fixed effects to be different between rain-fed and dam-fed districts (in interaction models), we find that while (fractional) rainfall shocks affect agricultural production and religious violence in rain-fed districts, they have no effect on agricultural production and religious violence in dam-fed districts. In other words, dams fully mitigate the effect of rainfall shocks on agricultural output and religious violence in the Indian context.

Keywords: Rainfall; Religious conflict; Dams; Time dependence; Common shocks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 F35 O17 O19 Q11 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2021.105731

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