Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics

Delhi School of Economics


Conflict, Rural markets, and Social costs


Anand Murugesan
(CEU Vienna)

 (Thursday, August 31, 2023, at 3:15 PM IST)
Venue: Amex Room


We study how violence disrupts markets and imposes social costs for large sections of society. Since the 2010s, India has seen a surge in violent attacks by vigilante groups, primarily targeting those suspected of cow slaughter. Consequently, rural households’ inability to sell unproductive cattle results in unintended costs, including the abandonment of cattle, leading to broader societal costs such as loss of human lives. We compile a novel dataset using a high-frequency panel of households, road accident statistics, media reports on violence, and historical Hindu-Muslim conflict data in India. Leveraging temporal and spatial variations in violence, we estimate about a 10 percent decline in cattle holdings among households in affected regions with an event study design. We identify the effect of this violence on human casualties due to over a 200% increase in road accidents caused by collisions with abandoned stray cattle. Our primary survey data reveals significant crop damage due to stray cattle in regions experiencing violence.
All are cordially invited.

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