Major Islamic holidays: what do they mean for violence in Indonesia?

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

Event details

ACDE Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 04 June 2019


Seminar Room 1, #132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, The ANU


Hieu T.M. Nguyen, Crawford School of Public Policy


Ross McLeod, Seminar Convener, ACDE

This paper presented in the seminar examines the impact of Islamic holidays on daily violence in Indonesia. Data from the 2005-2014 National Violence Monitoring System are employed to create district-based panel data on violent incidents, and the fixed effect Poisson model is used to estimate the causal effect. The results consistently show that Islamic holidays significantly reduce the intensity of violence in Indonesia’s districts. The fasting month, Ramadan, has an observable reducing effect on a narrow range of categories of violence, such as criminal (non-disputational, non-targeted) violence, domestic violence, and identity-based violence (involving conflict between specific groups), while Islam-related public holidays lower violence of most types, including those with institutional involvement, such as violence in law enforcement and in response to perceived governance issues. The effects are more pronounced for districts with a Muslim population of 50 per cent and over. The findings suggest an important role for Islamic institutions in reducing violence in the country.

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