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Land Reform and Civil Conflict: Theory and Evidence From Peru by Michael Albertus

Monday, October 15, 2018 at 12:15pm to 1:10pm

Stimpson Hall, G01

What are the long-term implications of land reform on civil conflict? I examine this question in the context of Peru, where half of all of private agricultural land was redistributed under military rule from 1968-80. A brutal insurgency waged by Shining Path then cropped up from the early 1980s to the early 1990s, killing some 70,000 people. How was the spread of Shining Path connected to the land reform? I leverage original data on the universe of land expropriations and data from the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission on rural killings for the duration of Peru's insurgency to answer these questions. Using a regression discontinuity design that takes advantage of Peru’s regional approach to land reform through zones that did not map onto major pre-existing administrative boundaries, I find that land reform helped to dampen subsequent conflict. Although partial and patchwork land reform can generate grievances between winners and losers relative to the absence of land reform, districts in core areas of land reform zones that received comprehensive land reform witnessed less conflict relative to districts in adjacent peripheral areas of these zones.

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Crop and Soil Sciences (CSS), Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, Latino Studies Program, Anthropology, Sociology, Latin American Studies Program (LASP), Global Cornell, Department of Development Sociology (DSOC), Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies

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Michael Albertus

Speaker Affiliation

Political Science, University of Chicago

Disability Access Information

Wheelchair Accessible, front entrance Tower Road

Open To

Free and Open to the Public

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