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Seeds of Distrust: Conflict in Uganda

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  • Dominic Rohner
  • Mathias Thoenig
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

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 e¤ect 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford in its series OxCarre Working Papers with number 078.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:078

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Keywords: conflict; Uganda; seeds of distrust; ethnic conflicts; ACLED; cross-ethnic;

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Blog mentions

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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. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2011. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity, and Citizen Participation: Evidence from Indonesia," Research Working Papers 48, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
  2. 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.
  3. Camelia Minoiu & Olga N. Shemyakina, 2012. "Armed Conflict, Household Victimization, and Child Health in Côte d'Ivoire," HiCN Working Papers 115, Households in Conflict Network.
  4. Patricia Justino, 2012. "Shared Societies and Armed Conflict: Costs, Inequality and the Benefits of Peace," HiCN Working Papers 125, Households in Conflict Network.
  5. Stefano DellaVigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia," NBER Working Papers 16989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James Fenske & Achyuta Adhvaryu, 2013. "War, Resilience and Political Engagement in Africa," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2013-08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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