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Journal Articles Journal of Comparative Economics Year : 2022

Shutdown policies and conflict worldwide


We provide evidence on the link between the policy response to the SARS CoV-2 pandemic and conflicts worldwide. We combine daily information on conflict events and government policy responses to limit the spread of SARS CoV-2 to study how demonstrations and violent events vary following shutdown policies. We use the staggered implementation of restriction policies across countries to identify the dynamic effects in an event study framework. Our results show that imposing a nation-wide shutdown is associated with a reduction in the number of demonstrations, which suggests that public demonstrations are hampered by the rising cost of participation. However, the reduction is short-lived, as the number of demonstrations are back to their pre-restriction levels in two months. In contrast, we observe that the purported increase in mobilization or coordination costs, following the imposition of restrictions, is not followed by a drop of violent events that involve organized armed groups. Instead, we find that the number of events, on average, increases slightly following the implementation of the restriction policies. The rise in violent events is most prominent in poorer countries, with higher levels of polarization, and in authoritarian countries. We discuss the potential channels underlying this heterogeneity.
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hal-03509846 , version 1 (04-01-2022)


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Nicolas Berman, Mathieu Couttenier, Nathalie Monnet, Rohit Ticku. Shutdown policies and conflict worldwide. Journal of Comparative Economics, 2022, 50 (1), pp.240-255. ⟨10.1016/j.jce.2021.09.004⟩. ⟨hal-03509846⟩
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