|Building Resilient Health Systems: Experimental Evidence from Sierra Leone and the 2014 Ebola Outbreak|
with Darin Christensen, Johannes Haushofer, Bilal Siddiqi, Maarten J. Voors: w27364
Underuse of health systems and a lack of confidence in their quality contribute to high rates of mortality in the developing world. How individuals perceive health systems may be especially critical during epidemics, when they choose whether to cooperate with response efforts and frontline health workers. Can improving the perceived quality of healthcare promote community health and ultimately, help to contain epidemics? We leverage a field experiment to answer this question in the context of Sierra Leone and the 2014 West Africa Ebola crisis. Two years before the outbreak, we randomly assigned two accountability interventions to government-run health clinics – one focused on community monitoring and the other conferred non-financial awards to clinic staff. These interventions delivered im...
|The Promise and Pitfalls of Conflict Prediction: Evidence from Colombia and Indonesia|
with Samuel Bazzi, Robert A. Blair, Christopher Blattman, Matthew Gudgeon, Richard Merton Peck: w25980
Policymakers can take actions to prevent local conflict before it begins, if such violence can be accurately predicted. We examine the two countries with the richest available sub-national data: Colombia and Indonesia. We assemble two decades of fine-grained violence data by type, alongside hundreds of annual risk factors. We predict violence one year ahead with a range of machine learning techniques. Models reliably identify persistent, high-violence hot spots. Violence is not simply autoregressive, as detailed histories of disaggregated violence perform best. Rich socio-economic data also substitute well for these histories. Even with such unusually rich data, however, the models poorly predict new outbreaks or escalations of violence. "Best case" scenarios with panel data fall short of ...
with S.P. Harish: w23337
Are states led by women less prone to conflict than states led by men? We answer this question by examining the effect of female rule on war among European polities over the 15th-20th centuries. We utilize gender of the first born and presence of a female sibling among previous monarchs as instruments for queenly rule. We find that polities led by queens were more likely to engage in war than polities led by kings. Moreover, the tendency of queens to engage as aggressors varied by marital status. Among unmarried monarchs, queens were more likely to be attacked than kings. Among married monarchs, queens were more likely to participate as attackers than kings, and, more likely to fight alongside allies. These results are consistent with an account in which marriages strengthened queenly reig...
Published: Oeindrila Dube & S. P. Harish, 2020. "Queens," Journal of Political Economy, vol 128(7), pages 2579-2652.
|Bases, Bullets and Ballots: the Effect of U.S. Military Aid on Political Conflict in Colombia|
with Suresh Naidu: w20213
Does foreign military assistance strengthen or further weaken fragile states facing internal conflict? Aid may strengthen the state by bolstering its repressive capacity vis-à-vis armed non-state actors, or weaken it if resources are diverted to these very groups. We examine how U.S. military aid affects political violence in Colombia. We exploit the allocation of U.S. military aid to Colombian military bases, and compare how aid affects municipalities with and without bases. We use an instrument based on worldwide increases in U.S. military aid (excluding Latin America). We find that U.S. military assistance leads to differential increases in attacks by paramilitaries, but has no effect on guerrilla attacks. Aid also results in more paramilitary (but not guerrilla) homicides during electi...
Published: Dube, Oeindrila and Suresh Naidu, 2015: "Bases, Bullets, and Ballots: The Effect of US Military Aid on Political Conflict in Colombia," The Journal of Politics, 77(1): 249-267.