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Extending the formal state: the case of Pakistan's frontier crimes regulation

Callen, Mike, Gulzar, Saad, Rezaee, Arman and Shapiro, Jacob N. (2024) Extending the formal state: the case of Pakistan's frontier crimes regulation. Economica, 91 (363). pp. 701-718. ISSN 0013-0427

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Identification Number: 10.1111/ecca.12527


Why do modern states allow parts of their territory to be governed by non-state actors? We study this question using the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) in Pakistan, a British Colonial law abrogated only in 2018, which left governance to pre-colonial tribal councils in large parts of modern day Pakistan. In areas where the FCR did not apply, the British and then Pakistani state built modern political and bureaucratic institutions. Using primary legal documents, we build a dataset of when and where the FCR applied between 1901 and 2012. The territorial extent of the formal state is both cleanly demarcated by this law and varies substantially over time, permitting an empirical examination of the determinants of state control. The data reveal that the Green Revolution's potential to transform agriculture played a major role in extending the formal state. The law was repealed first from areas where agricultural productivity benefited the most from the Green Revolution. This is consistent with a model in which technological changes that shift the returns to control influence where states choose to govern.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O12 - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
P - Economic Systems > P1 - Capitalist Systems > P16 - Political Economy
P - Economic Systems > P4 - Other Economic Systems > P48 - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights
Date Deposited: 28 May 2024 13:36
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 01:00

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