Rohan Gudibande is a PhD candidate in Development Economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Currently he is a Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.
West Bengal has a well documented history of violence from land related grievances. The last major land related violence occurred during the years 2006 to 2008 when the Left government tried to acquire land for industrialization. Given a dearth of empirical studies on the determinants of violence in West Bengal, the main objective of this paper is to empirically determine whether there is a systematic correlation between land redistribution outcomes and violence in West Bengal. The paper primarily focuses on the period between 1996 and 2008, after the Left government began to acquire land given the New Industrial Policy announced in 1994-1995. Using district level riots data as a proxy for violence and district level information on the area redistributed and the corresponding number of beneficiaries between the years 1996 and 2008, the study employs econometric modelling to understand the linkages between riots and land redistribution. It also accounts for other structural,political and spatial factors which might affect riots while looking at the relationship between land reform outcomes and violence, ceteris paribus.