The literature examining the effect of institutions on the spread of conflict remains scarce despite 100 civilians being killed in armed conflicts every day as per United Nations statistics. We employ the two-part model to study the effect of institutions on the spread of conflict in 190 countries from 2000 to 2016. We find that a better rule of law lowers the spread of conflict by increasing the cost of violence for perpetrators. Next, conditional on the conflict being present, countries with weaker corruption control experience a lower spread of conflict. Consistent with the “grease the wheels” hypothesis, this finding suggests that victimized groups use bribery to protect themselves against violence. Finally, press freedom reduces the spread of conflict by promoting government accountability, with the effect being higher in countries with greater internet penetration. Our findings highlight the roles of the government and civil society in preventing the loss of lives due to conflicts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We sincerely thank two anonymous referees, guest editor, and co-editor Sushanta Mallick for their valuable suggestions that improved the quality of the paper immensely. Chandan Jha gratefully acknowledges Le Moyne College’s Research and Development Grant for financial support.
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- Control of corruption
- Press freedom
- Rule of law