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Civil War, Social Capital and Market Development: Experimental and Survey Evidence on the Negative Consequences of Violence

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Author Info

  • Alessandra Cassar

    (University of San Francisco)

  • Pauline Grosjean

    ()
    (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)

  • Sam Whitt

    (U.S. Department of State)

Abstract

Recent studies have reported surprising increases in pro-social behavior following exposure to conflict. However, our research provides cautionary evidence of some important detrimental effects of conflict hidden within an overall trend toward increasing certain pro-social preferences. We draw our inferences from experimental and survey evidence we collected from a random sample in post-war Tajikistan. More than a decade after the civil war, which was characterized by insurgency and community infighting, exposure to conflict has opened a significant gap between norms people apply to others in their local communities compared to distant others. Our results show how conflict exposure undermines trust and fairness within local communities, decreases the willingness to engage in impersonal exchange, and reinforces kinship-based norms of morality. The robustness of the results to the use of pre-war controls, village fixed effects and alternative samples suggests that selection into victimization is unlikely to be the factor driving the results.

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File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2011-14.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, The University of New South Wales in its series Discussion Papers with number 2011-14.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2011-14

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Related research

Keywords: Civil war; trust game; dictator game; market institutions; experimental methods; Central Asia;

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  1. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
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Cited by:
  1. Alessandra Cassar & Pauline Grosjean & Sam Whitt, 2011. "Social Cooperation and the Problem of the Conflict Gap: Survey and Experimental Evidence from Post-War Tajikistan," Discussion Papers 2011-15, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  2. Marc Sangnier & Yanos Zylberberg, 2013. "Protests and Beliefs in Social Coordination in Africa," AMSE Working Papers 1328, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised Apr 2013.
  3. Patricia Justino, 2012. "Shared Societies and Armed Conflict: Costs, Inequality and the Benefits of Peace," HiCN Working Papers 125, Households in Conflict Network.

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