Panel Paper: Do Rebel Groups Use Violence Strategically during Elections?

Friday, November 9, 2018
8228 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Miguel A Morales Mosquera, University of Chicago

Do rebel groups use electoral violence strategically? There is evidence that, in civil wars, places with valuable natural resources are prone to experience higher levels of violence. What is less known is that electoral violence increases disproportionately in areas with natural resources that are easier to predate. In this paper, I present evidence of rebels groups using violence strategically during electoral years. My identification strategy relies on a Differences in Differences (DD) design that compares commodity producing with non-producing municipalities during electoral and non-electoral years. The main findings are violence increases during elections, places with natural resources experience higher levels of conflict and electoral violence increases disproportionately in locations with loot-able or obstruct-able natural resources (oil and gold). These results are in favor of the hypothesis that rebel groups use violence strategically during elections and point out an additional channel through which the resource curse operates.