This paper documents electoral cycles in troop contributions to UN peacekeeping operations, and shows how they hamper conflict mitigation. Using monthly data on all countries' contributions to UN missions between 1990-2019 that operate in the midst of fighting, I find that a national election decreases the probability of having any troops deployed by 13 percentage points, and the expected number of troops deployed by around 125. For the top quartile troop contributors in the sample (≥891 troops), national elections also decrease deployments from other contributors, decrease overall mission capacity, and severely hampers mission performance. For each top contributor having an election, the probability of any battle-related fatalities increases by up to 25 percentage points, and the monthly number of battle-related fatalities increases by around 60 fatalities. The results suggest that timely and adequately sized UN peacekeeping operations are reducing conflict intensity, and that electoral concerns can severely hamper international collective action to mitigate conflict.
Do social identity ties facilitate the spread of violent conflict? We assess whether the Israel-Palestine conflict causes hate crime towards Jews and Muslims in the U.S using daily data between 2000-2016. We measure the timing, intensity and instigator in the conflict using the number of conflict fatalities and U.S. mass media coverage of the conflict. Analyses using both conflict measures find that conflict events trigger hate crimes in the following days following a retaliatory pattern: Anti-Jewish hate crimes increase after Israeli attacks and anti-Islamic hate crimes increase after Palestinian attacks. There is little evidence that the ethno-religious group not associated with the attacker is subjected to hate crimes. Moreover, the lack of an effect of non-violent conflict reporting suggests that hate crimes are not triggered by the salience of the Israel-Palestine conflict in itself. Our findings suggest that victimization transcends the locality of the conflict, implying that violent conflict may be more costly than existing research suggests.
We provide the first estimates of how pro-environmental consumers reduce their total carbon footprint using a carbon calculator that covers all financial transactions. We use data from users of a carbon calculator that includes weekly estimates of users' consumption-based carbon-equivalent emissions based on detailed financial statements, official registers, and self-reported life-style factors. The calculator is designed to induce behavioral change and gives users detailed information about their footprint, and includes social comparisons, and goal-setting options. By using a robust difference-in-differences analysis with staggered adoption of the calculator, we estimate that users decrease their carbon footprint by around 10 percent in the first few weeks, but over the next few weeks, the reduction fades. Further analysis suggests that the carbon footprint reduction is driven by a combination of a shift from high- to low-emitting consumption categories and a temporary decrease in overall spending, and not by changes in any specific consumption category.