Replication package for: The Perils of High-Powered Incentives: Evidence from Colombia's False Positives

Resource Type
Dataset : geographic information system (GIS) data, observational data
  • Acemoglu, Daron (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Economics)
  • Fergusson, Leopoldo (Universidad de los Andes, Department of Economics)
  • Robinson, James (University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy)
  • Romero, Dario (Columbia University, Department of Economics)
  • Vargas, Juan F. (Universidad del Rosario, Department of Economics)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
HIgh-powered inventives; Military; Conflict
  • Abstract

    We investigate the use of high-powered incentives for Colombian army members, and show that it produced several perverse side effects. Innocent civilians were killed and misrepresented as guerillas (a phenomenon known in Colombia as ‘false positives’). There were significantly more false positives during the period of high- powered incentives in municipalities with weaker judicial institutions and where a higher share of brigades were commanded by colonels (who have stronger career concerns than generals). In municipalities with a higher share of colonels, the high-powered incentives period also coincided with a worsening of local judicial institutions and no discernible improvement in overall security.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2000-01-01 / 2010-12-31
    Time Period: Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2000--Fri Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2010
Geographic Coverage
  • Colombia
Sampled Universe
Panel of Colombian Municipalities.
  • Is version of
    DOI: 10.3886/E111542
  • Acemoglu, Daron, Leopoldo Fergusson, James Robinson, Dario Romero, and Juan Fernando Vargas. “The Perils of High-Powered Incentives: Evidence from Colombia’s False Positives.” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, n.d.

Update Metadata: 2020-07-23 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-07-23