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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 causal effects on trust and ethnic identity of an exogenous outburst of ethnic conflicts in 2002-04. 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 county 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 054.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:054

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Keywords: Conflict; trust; ethnic fighting; Uganda; social capital; identity;

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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. Doepke, Matthias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2013. "Culture, Entrepreneurship, and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 9516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2013. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity and Citizen Participation - Evidence from Indonesia," AMSE Working Papers 1306, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised Feb 2013.
  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," Working Papers 2012/35, Maastricht School of Management.
  5. Timothy Besley and Marta Reynal-Querol, 2013. "The Legacy of Historical Conflict Evidence from Africa," Working Papers 312, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  6. 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.
  7. Nathan Nunn, 2012. "Culture and the Historical Process," NBER Working Papers 17869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Della Vigna, Stefano & Enikolopov, Ruben & Mironova, Vera & Petrova, Maria & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2013. "Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1312, CEPREMAP.

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