[gov3009-l] Chaney on "Revolt on the Nile"

Matt Blackwell mblackwell at iq.harvard.edu
Mon Mar 21 15:46:06 EDT 2011

We hope you can join us at the Applied Statistics Workshop this
Wednesday, March 23rd, when we are excited to have Eric Chaney from
the Department of Economics here at Harvard. Eric will be presenting
his paper entitled “Revolt on the Nile: Economic Shocks, Religion and
Political Influence.” You'll find an abstract and a link to the paper
below. As usual, we will begin at 12 noon with a light lunch and wrap
up by 1:30pm.

“Revolt on the Nile: Economic Shocks, Religion and Political Influence"
Eric Chaney
Department of Economics, Harvard University
Wednesday, March 23rd, 12 noon
CGIS Knafel 354 (1737 Cambridge St)

Paper: http://www.iq.harvard.edu/events/sites/iq.harvard.edu.events/files/nilepaper.pdf

Can religious leaders use their popular influence to political ends?
This paper explores this question using over 700 years of Nile flood
data. Results show that deviant Nile floods were related to
significant decreases in the probability of change of the
highest-ranking religious authority. Qualitative evidence suggests
this decrease reflects an increase in political power stemming from
famine-induced surges in the religious authority's control over
popular support. Additional empirical results support this
interpretation by linking the observed probability decrease to the
number of individuals a religious authority could influence. The paper
concludes that the results provide empirical support for theories
suggesting religion as a determinant of institutional outcomes.


Matthew Blackwell
PhD Candidate
Institute for Quantitative Social Science
Department of Government
Harvard University
url: http://people.fas.harvard.edu/~blackwel/

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