Do UN interventions cause peace Using matching to improve causal inference

Michael J. Gilligan, Ernest J. Sergenti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Previous statistical studies of the effects of UN peacekeeping have generally suggested that UN interventions have a positive effect on building a sustainable peace after civil war. Recent methodological developments have questioned this result because the cases in which the United Nations intervened were quite different from those in which they did not. Therefore the estimated causal effect may be due to the assumptions of the model that the researchers chose rather than to peacekeeping itself. The root of the problem is that UN missions are not randomly assigned. We argue that standard approaches for dealing with this problem (Heckman regression and instrumental variables) are invalid and impracticable in the context of UN peacekeeping and would lead to estimates of the effects of UN operations that are largely a result of the assumptions of the statistical model rather than the data. We correct for the effects of nonrandom assignment with matching techniques on a sample of UN interventions in post-Cold-War conflicts and find that UN interventions are indeed effective in the sample of post-civil-conflict interventions, but that UN interventions while civil wars are still ongoing have no causal effect.

    LanguageEnglish (US)
    Pages89-122
    Number of pages34
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Political Science
    Volume3
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2008

    Fingerprint

    UNO
    peace
    cause
    peacekeeping
    civil war
    cold war
    regression

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Political Science and International Relations

    Cite this

    Do UN interventions cause peace Using matching to improve causal inference. / Gilligan, Michael J.; Sergenti, Ernest J.

    In: Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2008, p. 89-122.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Gilligan, Michael J. ; Sergenti, Ernest J./ Do UN interventions cause peace Using matching to improve causal inference. In: Quarterly Journal of Political Science. 2008 ; Vol. 3, No. 2. pp. 89-122
    @article{737806bc69db43028458117ec46ddc75,
    title = "Do UN interventions cause peace Using matching to improve causal inference",
    abstract = "Previous statistical studies of the effects of UN peacekeeping have generally suggested that UN interventions have a positive effect on building a sustainable peace after civil war. Recent methodological developments have questioned this result because the cases in which the United Nations intervened were quite different from those in which they did not. Therefore the estimated causal effect may be due to the assumptions of the model that the researchers chose rather than to peacekeeping itself. The root of the problem is that UN missions are not randomly assigned. We argue that standard approaches for dealing with this problem (Heckman regression and instrumental variables) are invalid and impracticable in the context of UN peacekeeping and would lead to estimates of the effects of UN operations that are largely a result of the assumptions of the statistical model rather than the data. We correct for the effects of nonrandom assignment with matching techniques on a sample of UN interventions in post-Cold-War conflicts and find that UN interventions are indeed effective in the sample of post-civil-conflict interventions, but that UN interventions while civil wars are still ongoing have no causal effect.",
    author = "Gilligan, {Michael J.} and Sergenti, {Ernest J.}",
    year = "2008",
    doi = "10.1561/100.00007051",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "3",
    pages = "89--122",
    journal = "Quarterly Journal of Political Science",
    issn = "1554-0626",
    publisher = "Now Publishers Inc",
    number = "2",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Do UN interventions cause peace Using matching to improve causal inference

    AU - Gilligan,Michael J.

    AU - Sergenti,Ernest J.

    PY - 2008

    Y1 - 2008

    N2 - Previous statistical studies of the effects of UN peacekeeping have generally suggested that UN interventions have a positive effect on building a sustainable peace after civil war. Recent methodological developments have questioned this result because the cases in which the United Nations intervened were quite different from those in which they did not. Therefore the estimated causal effect may be due to the assumptions of the model that the researchers chose rather than to peacekeeping itself. The root of the problem is that UN missions are not randomly assigned. We argue that standard approaches for dealing with this problem (Heckman regression and instrumental variables) are invalid and impracticable in the context of UN peacekeeping and would lead to estimates of the effects of UN operations that are largely a result of the assumptions of the statistical model rather than the data. We correct for the effects of nonrandom assignment with matching techniques on a sample of UN interventions in post-Cold-War conflicts and find that UN interventions are indeed effective in the sample of post-civil-conflict interventions, but that UN interventions while civil wars are still ongoing have no causal effect.

    AB - Previous statistical studies of the effects of UN peacekeeping have generally suggested that UN interventions have a positive effect on building a sustainable peace after civil war. Recent methodological developments have questioned this result because the cases in which the United Nations intervened were quite different from those in which they did not. Therefore the estimated causal effect may be due to the assumptions of the model that the researchers chose rather than to peacekeeping itself. The root of the problem is that UN missions are not randomly assigned. We argue that standard approaches for dealing with this problem (Heckman regression and instrumental variables) are invalid and impracticable in the context of UN peacekeeping and would lead to estimates of the effects of UN operations that are largely a result of the assumptions of the statistical model rather than the data. We correct for the effects of nonrandom assignment with matching techniques on a sample of UN interventions in post-Cold-War conflicts and find that UN interventions are indeed effective in the sample of post-civil-conflict interventions, but that UN interventions while civil wars are still ongoing have no causal effect.

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=67651034492&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=67651034492&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1561/100.00007051

    DO - 10.1561/100.00007051

    M3 - Article

    VL - 3

    SP - 89

    EP - 122

    JO - Quarterly Journal of Political Science

    T2 - Quarterly Journal of Political Science

    JF - Quarterly Journal of Political Science

    SN - 1554-0626

    IS - 2

    ER -