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Youth bulges, insurrections and labor-market restrictions

Thomas Apolte and Lena Gerling ()
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Lena Gerling: University of Münster

Public Choice, 2018, vol. 175, issue 1, 63-93

Abstract: Abstract This paper analyzes the link between large youth cohorts and violent conflicts when labor-market restrictions are present. Such restrictions are expected to limit the youth cohort’s access to income opportunities in the formal economy, and thus lower the youth-specific opportunity cost of insurrection activities. We develop a theoretical model of insurrection markets and integrate the youth cohort’s relative size. In equilibrium, a binding labor-market constraint interacts with the youth bulge in determining the level of insurrection activities within the society. We test the implications of our model on a sample of 135 non-OECD countries in the post-Cold War period and find the effect of the youth cohort’s relative size on conflict onsets to be moderated by changes in the labor-market conditions as measured by unemployment rates. Generally, the results provide evidence that the underlying institutional setting shapes the conflict potential inherent in a given demographic structure.

Keywords: Youth bulges; Demography; Insurrections; Political economy of revolutions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H56 J10 J22 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:175:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-018-0514-8