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Can Workfare Programs Moderate Conflict? Evidence from India

Thiemo Fetzer
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Thiemo Fetzer: University of Warwick

CAGE Online Working Paper Series from Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE)

Abstract: Can public interventions persistently reduce conflict? Adverse weather shocks, through their impact on incomes, have been identified as robust drivers of conflict in many contexts. An effective social insurance system moderates the impact of adverse shocks on household incomes, and hence, could attenuate the link between these shocks and conflict. This paper shows that a public employment program in India, by providing an alternative source of income through a guarantee of 100 days of employment at minimum wages, effectively provides insurance. This has an indirect pacifying effect. By weakening the link between productivity shocks and incomes, the program uncouples productivity shocks from conflict, leading persistently lower conflict levels.

Keywords: social insurance; civil conflict; India; NREGA; insurgency JEL Classification: D74; H56; J65; Q34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-ias and nep-lab
Date: 2019
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