The proposed research concerns two sets of issues. The first concerns the role of state building in the development process, and the role played by violent conflict whether internal or external to the state. In this research, we will build a sequence of theoretical models, taking a stepping stone in a basic framework where new infrastructure that expands the state s capacity to raise revenue and to support private markets is viewed as outcome of investments under uncertainty. Our objective in model building is to provide guidance for the collection of historical and contemporary data and for econometric testing, which will both be central to the project. The overall goal of this project is to bring the analysis of state capacity into the mainstream of economics, and thereby shed light on the complex interactions between state building, conflict and development. The second set of issues ultimately concerns the economics of climate change. A first subproject aims at estimating the historical effects of weather on infant mortality in Africa, using a variety of data sources: individual data based on retrospective DHS surveys, finely-gridded weather data based on so-called re-analyis with large-scale climate models, and spatial data on harvest times based on satellite data on plant growth. Exploiting the random component of historical weather fluctuation allows us to estimate causal effects on health outcomes via mechanisms like malnutrition and malaria. This initial research will serve as a pilot study, to develop a methodology for studying the weather impacts on any outcome of interest anywhere in the world. Eventually such estimates will serve to estimate the future costs of climate change.
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