Was the Maoist influence during the insurgency in Nepal stronger in districts with high rates of poverty and inequality? In contrast to previous studies we limit the analysis to the hill/mountain districts as very few terai (plains) districts were classified as Maoist. And we conduct separate analyses for Maoist control and level of conflict. We find that income poverty and land-inequality were high in Maoist districts, while the less visible income inequality was not so important. We also demonstrate that previous findings by Murshed and Gates (2005), where landlessness appears to be important, are due to two outliers that are the core Maoist districts. Without the outliers landlessness is negatively, and not positively, correlated with Maoist influence.

Magnus Hatlebakk

Senior Researcher; Coordinator: Poverty Dynamics