Austin L. Wright
 
 

Unpacking the political economy of conflict and crime. 

 
 
 
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Investigating conflict and crime to gain new insights.

 
 
 
 
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Economic Shocks and Rebel Tactics

The character of violence within civil war ranges widely. In some engagements, rebels fight like guerrillas. Elsewhere, they fight like small armies. I link variation in rebel tactics with surges in wealth from the coca trade. 

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Rebel Capacity and Randomized Combat

Classic theories of counterinsurgency claim that the greatest advantage of guerrilla fighters is the 'element of surprise'.  We use newly declassified military records, fine-grained measures of rebel rents from opium production, and nearly half a trillion simulations to test this proposition in Afghanistan. 

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The Logic of Insurgent Electoral Violence

Electoral violence is a disturbingly common feature of democratic institutions globally. We use novel data that tracks insurgent activity by minute and meter in Afghanistan to better understand when and why rebels undermine elections. 

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Border Walls and Crime Spillovers

Border walls are politically contentious and poorly understood. We investigate how rapid construction of the Israeli separation barrier impacted criminal activity. 

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