Economics at your fingertips  

The Peace Dividend of Distance: Violence as Interaction Across Space

Hannes Mueller, Dominic Rohner () and Sch�nholzer, David

No 11897, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: More distant targets are harder to attack, and hence increased distance between potential attackers and potential targets may drive down the death toll of conflict. To investigate this, the current paper studies violence as interaction across space, i.e. it separates the origin from the target of attacks. We show that a game-theoretic model based on the idea that distance matters can deliver new insights into understanding the causes, the extent and the distribution of violence. Key factors are the transport costs of violence and the distribution of the groups across locations. To estimate the structural parameters of the model, we use very fine-grained data from Northern Ireland on religious composition at each location, and on the identity of attackers and victims in violent events from 1969 to 2001. Using these estimates we show that more than half of the attacks in Northern Ireland were conducted across administrative ward boundaries and that changes in the settlement patterns of the population from the 1970s to the 1980s could be responsible for a large reduction in violence. We find that both the origin and path of attacks can be predicted with our model and that the construction of barriers by the UK government follows these predictions.

Keywords: conflict; Distance Costs; Ethnic Violence; Insurgency; Northern Ireland; Polarization; Religious Violence; Segregation; Spatial Data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 K42 N44 Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-tre
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)
CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from ... rs/dp.php?dpno=11897

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers Centre for Economic Policy Research, 33 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DX.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

Page updated 2022-08-19
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11897