We investigate the links between capital cities, conflict, and the quality of governance, starting from the assumption that incumbent elites are constrained by the threat of insurrection, and that the latter is rendered less effective by distance from the seat of political power. We show evidence that (i) conflict is more likely to emerge (and dislodge incumbents) closer to the capital, and (ii) isolated capitals are associated with misgovernance. The results hold only for relatively nondemocratic countries and for intrastate conflicts over government (as opposed to territory)—exactly the cases where our central assumption should apply.
Campante, Filipe R., Quoc-Anh Do, and Bernardo Guimaraes.
"Capital Cities, Conflict, and Misgovernance."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
Economic Development: Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity