Nation building through foreign intervention

Evidence from discontinuities in military strategies

Melissa Dell, Pablo Querubin Borrero

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This study uses discontinuities in U.S. strategies employed during the Vietnam War to estimate their causal impacts. It identifies the effects of bombing by exploiting rounding thresholds in an algorithm used to target air strikes. Bombing increased the military and political activities of the communist insurgency, weakened local governance, and reduced noncommunist civic engagement. The study also exploits a spatial discontinuity across neighboring military regions that pursued different counterinsurgency strategies. A strategy emphasizing overwhelming firepower plausibly increased insurgent attacks and worsened attitudes toward the U.S. and South Vietnamese government, relative to a more hearts-and-mindsoriented approach.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)701-764
    Number of pages64
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
    Volume133
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 1 2018

    Fingerprint

    Discontinuity
    Military
    Insurgency
    Government
    Air
    Civic engagement
    Local governance
    Political activity
    Attack

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics

    Cite this

    Nation building through foreign intervention : Evidence from discontinuities in military strategies. / Dell, Melissa; Querubin Borrero, Pablo.

    In: Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 133, No. 2, 01.05.2018, p. 701-764.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Dell, Melissa ; Querubin Borrero, Pablo. / Nation building through foreign intervention : Evidence from discontinuities in military strategies. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics. 2018 ; Vol. 133, No. 2. pp. 701-764.
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