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Conflict and the Formation of Political Beliefs in Africa

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  • Achyuta Adhvaryu

    ()
    (University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business)

  • James Fenske

    ()
    (University of Oxford, Department of Economics)

Abstract

We test whether living through conflict in childhood changes political beliefs and engagement. We combine data on the location and intensity of conflicts since 1945 with nationally representative data on political attitudes and behaviors from 17 sub-Saharan African countries. Exposure from ages 0 to 14 has a very small standardized impact on later attitudes and behaviors. This finding is robust to migration and holds across a variety of definitions, specifications, and sources of data. Our results suggest that at the population level in Africa, conflict does not alter political beliefs, though the most exposed sub-populations may experience large, lasting effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Households in Conflict Network in its series HiCN Working Papers with number 164.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:164

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Web page: http://www.hicn.org

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Keywords: conflict; political beliefs; early childhood; Africa;

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