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Damned by dams? Infrastructure and conflict

Eberle, Ulrich (2020) Damned by dams? Infrastructure and conflict. CEP Discussion Papers (1694). Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, London, UK.

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Abstract

This study investigates the impact of dams on local conflict across the world with georeferenced location information on dams and conflict events for the years 1989 to 2016. The identification strategy exploits exogenous variation in the river gradient to instrument for endogenous dam placement. The results document strong and robust evidence for an increase in intrastate conflict in the immediate vicinity of newly-built dams, but no robust effect for interstate conflict can be identified. Examining the mechanisms, ethnically polarized and fractionalized regions are more likely to experience the negative economic consequences as well as a surge in violence associated with dams. Further, countries with low levels of political competition are subject to more violence, suggesting that an institutional failure to account for local preferences may lead to violent confrontations. Finally, the policy analysis reveals that organizations providing the funding for dams, usually international financial institutions, have effective tools such as transboundary water treaties to prevent an outbreak of violence by enforcing regulation and monitoring during the implementation phases of dams.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/discussion...
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: T Technology > TC Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering
J Political Science > JZ International relations
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D74 - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H54 - Infrastructures; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock
N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, and Regulation > N40 - General, International, or Comparative
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O13 - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O18 - Regional, Urban, and Rural Analyses
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2021 09:00
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2021 00:32
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/108457

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