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The Wild West IS Wild: The Homicide Resource Curse

Abstract : We document interpersonal violence as a dimension of the resource curse. We rely on a historical natural experiment in the United States, where mineral discoveries occurred sometimes before, sometimes after formal institutions were established in the county of discovery. In places where mineral discoveries occurred before formal institutions were established, there were more homicides per capita historically and the effect has persisted to this day. Today, the share of homicides and assaults explained by the historical circumstances of mineral discoveries is comparable to the effect of education or income. Our results imply that short-term and quasi-exogenous variations in the institutional environment can lead to large and persistent differences in cultural and institutional development.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01590002
Contributor : Elisabeth Lhuillier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 11:59:11 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 3:16:59 AM

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Mathieu Couttenier, Pauline Grosjean, Marc Sangnier. The Wild West IS Wild: The Homicide Resource Curse. Journal of the European Economic Association, 2017, 15 (3), pp.558--585. ⟨10.1093/jeea/jvw011⟩. ⟨hal-01590002⟩

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