Essays on Institutions, Aid, and Conflict
DiLorenzo, Matthew Daniel
This dissertation is comprised of three essays on institutions, aid, and conflict. The first essay uses a formal model of revolution to argue that non-state aid can undermine the incentive of political opposition groups to challenge authoritarian regimes. A variety of empirical tests show that as a greater proportion of aid is delivered outside government channels, the frequency of political unrest decreases in authoritarian countries. The second essay uses a formal principal-agent model to argue that banning earmarking in multilateral aid organizations can be counterproductive from the standpoint of helping those most in need of humanitarian aid. The third essay argues that the effect of natural disasters on the risk of international conflict depends on states' domestic institutions of leader survival. I show that leaders of large-coalition governments initiate more international conflicts as deaths from disasters increase, while small-coalition leaders' behavior is unaffected by disasters.