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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, 2014. "Culture, Entrepreneurship, and Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1-48 Elsevier.
  2. Patricia Justino, 2012. "Shared Societies and Armed Conflict: Costs, Inequality and the Benefits of Peace," HiCN Working Papers 125, Households in Conflict Network.
  3. Timothy Besley & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2012. "The Legacy of Historical Conflict Evidence from Africa," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 036, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. 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.
  5. Stefano DellaVigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2012. "Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia," Working Papers w0189, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  6. Nathan Nunn, 2012. "Culture and the Historical Process," NBER Working Papers 17869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2011. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity, and Citizen Participation: Evidence from Indonesia," IDEP Working Papers 1101, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised May 2011.
  8. Minoiu, Camelia & Shemyakina, Olga N., 2014. "Armed conflict, household victimization, and child health in Côte d'Ivoire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 237-255.
  9. 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.

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