The Deep Roots of Rebellion

Gaia Narciso, Battista Severgnini*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper analyzes the triggers of rebellion and documents the historical roots of conflict using a unique dataset at the individual level. Drawing on evidence from the Famine (1845–1850) and its effect on the Irish Revolution (1916–1921), we show how negative shocks can explain social unrest in the long run. These findings are confirmed by the analysis of surnames, which enables the study of socio-cultural persistence over time. The instrumental variable analysis based on the wind direction that determined the spread of the potato blight that caused the Famine provides further evidence in support of the legacy of rebellion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102952
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Conflict
  • Famine
  • Irish revolution

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