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Seeds of Distrust: Conflict in Uganda

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  • Rohner, Dominic
  • Thoenig, Mathias
  • Zilibotti, Fabrizio

Abstract

We study the effect of civil conflict on social capital, focusing on the experience of Uganda during the last decade. Using individual and county-level data, we document large causal effects on trust and ethnic identity of an exogenous outburst of ethnic conflicts in 2002-05. We exploit two waves of survey data from Afrobarometer 2000 and 2008, including information on socioeconomic characteristics at the individual level, and geo-referenced measures of fighting events from ACLED. Our identification strategy exploits variations in the intensity of fighting both in the spatial and cross-ethnic dimensions. We find that more intense fighting decreases generalized trust and increases ethnic identity. The effects are quantitatively large and robust to a number of control variables, alternative measures of violence, and different statistical techniques involving ethnic and spatial fixed effects and instrumental variables. We also document that the post-war effects of ethnic violence depend on the ethnic fractionalization. Fighting has a negative effect on the economic situation in highly fractionalized counties, but has no effect in less fractionalized counties. Our findings are consistent with the existence of a self-reinforcing process between conflicts and ethnic cleavages.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8741.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8741

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Keywords: ethnic conflict; ethnic identity; fighting; fractionalisation; slavery; social capital; trust; Uganda;

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References

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  1. Facts about Juba
    by Dany Jaimovich - Bakary Baludin in Development Therapy on 2012-04-23 08:51:00
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Cited by:
  1. Achyuta Adhvaryu & James Fenske, 2013. "War, resilience and political engagement in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Doepke, Matthias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2013. "Culture, Entrepreneurship, and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 7459, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Besley, Timothy J. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2012. "The Legacy of Historical Conflict: Evidence from Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8850, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2011. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity, and Citizen Participation: Evidence from Indonesia," IDEP Working Papers 1101, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised May 2011.
  5. Stefano DellaVigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2012. "Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia," Working Papers w0189, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  6. Patricia Justino, 2012. "Shared Societies and Armed Conflict: Costs, Inequality and the Benefits of Peace," Working Papers 2012/35, Maastricht School of Management.
  7. Nathan Nunn, 2012. "Culture and the Historical Process," NBER Working Papers 17869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Camelia Minoiu & Olga N. Shemyakina, 2012. "Armed conflict, household victimization, and child health in Côte d'Ivoire," Working Papers 245, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  9. Lisa Cook, 2014. "Violence and economic activity: evidence from African American patents, 1870–1940," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 221-257, June.

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