The objective of this paper is to uncover the determinants of riot victimisation in India. The analysis is based on a unique survey collected by the authors in March-May 2010 in Maharashtra. We adopt a multilevel framework that allows neighbourhood and district effects to randomly influence household victimisation.
The main results are that households that (i) are economically vulnerable, (ii) live in the vicinity of a crime-prone area, and (iii) are not able to rely on community support are considerably more prone to suffer from riots than other households. All else equal, income per capita increases victimisation, presumably through an opportunity cost mechanism.
We find further that relatively affluent neighbourhoods and those characterised by large caste fragmentation are more riot-prone than disfranchised and homogeneous ones. Victimisation is more common in neighbourhoods with weaker social interactions, but some evidence suggests that weak social interactions may also be a consequence of rioting.