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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. Nathan Nunn, 2012. "Culture and the Historical Process," NBER Working Papers 17869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Patricia Justino, 2012. "Shared Societies and Armed Conflict: Costs, Inequality and the Benefits of Peace," Working Papers 2012/35, Maastricht School of Management.
  3. Doepke, Matthias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2013. "Culture, Entrepreneurship, and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 9516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Timothy Besley and Marta Reynal-Querol, 2013. "The Legacy of Historical Conflict Evidence from Africa," Working Papers 312, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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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