(with Anirban Mitra), Journal of Political Economy122, 719-765, 2014.
Summary. We model intergroup conflict driven by economic changes within groups. We show that if group incomes are low, increasing group incomes raises violence against that group and lowers violence generated by it. We then apply the model to data on Hindu-Muslim violence in India. Our main result is that an increase in per capita Muslim expenditures generates a large and significant increase in future religious conflict. An increase in Hindu expenditures has a negative or no effect. These findings speak to the origins of Hindu-Muslim violence in post-Independence India. Online Appendix. Sequel.
A sender is about to come into possession of an object of heterogeneous quality. Prior to knowing that quality, she commits to a categorization. That is, she partitions the set of qualities intosubsets — some possibly singletons — and verifiably commits to reveal the element in which the quality belongs. The categoriesmust be monotone. Our main results fully describe the profit-maximizing categorizationfor any pair of priors over object quality held by sender and receiver. We apply these results to the design of educational grades.
(with Anindita Mukherjee), Journal of Development Economics37, 227-264, 1992.
Summary. We model slack season wages in a village economy, in the presence of involuntary unemployment. Our model draws its inspiration from sociological notions of ‘everyday peasant resistance’. A continuum of equilibrium wage configurations is obtained. These configurations, barring one, involve wages exceeding reservation wages, despite the presence of involuntary unemployment.