Four Essays in Conflict Economics

Luqman Saeed

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

193 Downloads (Pure)


This dissertation is a collection of four essays that broadly fall in the field of conflict economics. In Chapter 1, I exploit a new database on humanitarian military interventions (HMIs) to study their impacts on conflict termination and escalation, human rights observance and economic growth. I use heteroscedasticity -based instruments to tackle the endogeneity of HMIs. The results suggest that biased HMIs aggravate conflict intensity and lead to a large negative effect on economic growth. Neutral HMIs, in which interveners target all perpetrators of violence, are observed to positively impact conflict termination. Chapter 2 is co-authored with Professor Michael Spagat. In this chapter, we employ weather conditions and a dummy variable for drone base closure as instruments for drone strikes in an econometric model for suicide bombings in Pakistan. Reverse causality and the effects of unobserved common factors can cause the estimate for the drone strikes variable in an OLS model for suicide bombings to be biased. The results from IV regressions show that a drone strike is followed by at least 1 suicide bombing in the following month. In Chapter 3, I revisit the impact of military expenditures on economic growth. I employ arms imports during peace time and the number of neighboring states suffering interstate violence as instruments for military expenditures in an endogenous growth model. The results from the IV regressions indicate that a 1 percentage point increase in military expenditure/ GDP leads to around a 1.20 percentage points decrease in economic growth. Finally, in Chapter 4, I study the relationship between educational attainment and participation in political violence by exploiting a dataset on 200 militants of Pakistani origin and a representative sample of 13422 other Pakistanis. The empirical results indicate that a nonlinear model better fits the observed data on educational attainment and participation in political violence. The relationship is characterized by an inverted U shape form and the likelihood of engaging in political violence maximizes at about 12 years of schooling.

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Spagat, Michael, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date1 Feb 2022
Publication statusUnpublished - 2022


  • Luqman Saeed
  • PhD Thesis
  • Conflict Economics
  • Humanitarian Military Interventions
  • Drone Strikes
  • Military expenditure
  • Economic Growth
  • Terrorism

Cite this