Poverty, Social Divisions, and Conflict in Nepal

TitlePoverty, Social Divisions, and Conflict in Nepal
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitlePolicy Research Working Paper by the World Bank
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDo, Q-T, Iyer, L
VolumeWorking Paper 4228
Number of Pages40 pp.
PublisherThe World Bank Policy Research Group
Accession Number849

Since 1945, more than 70 civil wars have resulted in about 20 million deaths, displacing over 67 million people. Why do such conflicts occur and what sustains them? Quy-Toan Do and Lakshmi Iyer examine civil war in Nepal, finding that poverty is the single biggest determinant of whether a district will experience conflict. They estimate, over the period 1996-2004, that a 10 percentage point increase in poverty is associated with 24 additional conflict-related deaths in a district. Geographic variables such as elevation and forest cover also correlate significantly with conflict intensity. In contrast, variables measuring social divisions such as caste polarization or linguistic fractionalization do not have a significant association with conflict intensity, suggesting that support for conflict comes from economically deprived areas and not from social divisions.

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