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The Nature and Consequences of Civil Strife

Basnet, Shikha (2011) The Nature and Consequences of Civil Strife. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Various forms of violence plague our society. While violence is ubiquitous, there is a lack of studiesthat analyze war upsurges in a more dynamic and disaggregated setting, study its relationship withthe country attributes, and its impact on the broader population. In Chapter 1 I build a conceptualframework to analyze violence upsurges in a more dynamic and disaggregated setting. Using thedata on the Maoist insurgency in Nepal (1996-2006), I propose a model that conceptualizes violenceas a spatial-temporal process. I nd that the key determinant of whether or not an area is drawninto a civil war is its proximity of the areas that are already engaged in the civil war. In Chapter 2,I exploit a unique set of education data from Nepal to assess the impact of violence on an importantdeterminant of future economic growth: children's educational attainment. I find that 3 additionaldeaths per 10,000 population (one standard deviation) from the mean reduces the primary andsecondary school examination passing rates by 0.55 and 0.53 standard deviations, respectively.Lastly, in Chapter 3 I present a scenario where differences in a government's innate ability leadsto differences in resulting violence. More specifically, I present a scenario where the inability ofthe government to fully comprehend the ramifications of their actions leads to underinvestment incounterinsurgency. A fully informed government is aware of the breath of consequences of its actionsand takes stringent action accordingly, whereas a myopic government engages in ad hoc responsesonly. I find that if having a revolution is a greater concern, a myopic government facilitates it,whereas, if government's use of violence is as undesirable, a myopic government is preferred. Theoverall conclusion is that an armed conflict within a country has specific characteristics that need tobe further examined with disaggregated data and tested against the economic theories on institution formation. Additionally, an armed conflict also has far-reaching consequences for a warring state's next generation, thereby making policies to address the loss in human capital a necessity to prevent future conflict relapses.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Basnet, Shikhashb40@pitt.eduSHB40
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWalsh, Randallwalshr@pitt.eduWALSHR
Committee MemberBerkowitz, Danieldmberk@pitt.eduDMBERK
Committee MemberClay,
Committee MemberHoekstra, Markmarkhoek@pitt.eduMARKHOEK
Date: 15 September 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 6 June 2011
Approval Date: 15 September 2011
Submission Date: 20 July 2011
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Conflict; Education; Spillover of War
Other ID:, etd-07202011-162106
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:52
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:46


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