Publication: Unemployment and Participation in Violence
Explores the link between unemployment and conflict (including gang violence) using economic models of developing country civil wars with special focus on the occurrence of 'youth bulge.' Despite the lack of reliable evidence on youth unemployment, the view is widespread that youth unemployment constitutes a key cause of insurgency or civil war in developing countries. The role of labor markets, and in particular unemployment, in causing violence and violent conflict, is set forth in the 'economic approach' championed by Gary Becker.Gang members reported their participation is shaped by 'political views that their ethnic groups suffer discrimination in schools, labor markets, and financial institutions.' Other trends that affect employment and unemployment belong to a larger social structure shaped by ethnic/racial classification and institutional factors of weak family or police structure and the power and violence of family and police.The links between labor markets and violent conflict are complex and varied, and unlikely to respond to simple policy interventions designed from outside to reduce the risk of civil war.
“Cramer, Christopher. 2011. Unemployment and Participation in Violence. © Washington, DC: World Bank. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/9247 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”