Pretending to be the Law: Violence to Reduce the COVID-19 Outbreak
Romero, Dario A.
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CitationMartin, Diego A., and Dario A. Romero. "Pretending to be the Law: Violence to Reduce the COVID-19 Outbreak." CID Research Fellows and Graduate Student Working Paper Series 2023.155, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, September 2023.
AbstractDid the COVID-19 pandemic create an opportunity to earn population control through illegal violence? We argue that criminal groups in Colombia portray as de facto police by using mass killings to reduce the COVID-19 outbreak. They used massacres as a threat to enforce social distance measures in places they considered worth decreasing mobility. Our results from an Augmented Synthetic Control Method model estimated that commuting to parks fell 20% more in areas with massacres than in places without mass killings. In addition, we do not find a decline in mobility to workplaces and COVID-19 deaths after the first mass killing. These findings are congruent with the hypothesis that illegal armed groups used fear to enforce mobility restrictions without hurting economic activities and their sources of revenue. However, violence slightly impacted the virus’ spread. Treated areas had a decline of 35 cases per 100,000 inhabitants four months after the first massacre.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37377356