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Travers Child - Research Summary

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Community preferences, insurgency, and the success of reconstruction spending

Existing theory on counterinsurgency does not adequately explain persistent insurrection in face of the
reconstruction work currently underway in Afghanistan and Iraq. We starkly depart from the literature by developing a simple model of reconstruction allowing misalignment of occupier spending with community preferences. Insurgency arises endogenously as a result of the mix of spending rather than its level. Occupier insistence on its preferred path of reconstruction may lead to fewer projects of any kind being completed. In equilibrium, the occupier may accept an endogenous insurgency to achieve a preferred project mix, or be constrained in its choice even when no insurgency occurs. This paper has been written with David Scoones.