IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jcecon/v48y2020i4p841-865.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does violence against civilians depress voter turnout? Evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Author

Listed:
  • Alacevich, Caterina
  • Zejcirovic, Dijana

Abstract

We investigate the effect of violence against civilians on voting. Using data from elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1990 and 2014 and exploiting variation in war intensity across municipalities, we estimate a negative impact on voter turnout. The effect is stable and persistent over twenty years after the war resolution. Our results are robust to the inclusion of pre- and post-war socioeconomic and political characteristics, to instrumental variable estimations based on terrain ruggedness, and to restricting the sample to voters who were too young to be selectively targeted. Distinguishing between civilian and military victims, we show that violence against civilians drives the negative effect. Next, we examine different mediating mechanisms including forced migration and demographic selection, ethnic composition, physical capital damage, post-conflict reconstruction, and labor market conditions. Our results support the hypothesis that violence affects voting through a “moral” dis-utility from showing allegiance to politics and the society by casting a vote. Using survey data, we show that respondents in more affected municipalities report lower generalized trust, trust in institutions, and voting.

Suggested Citation

  • Alacevich, Caterina & Zejcirovic, Dijana, 2020. "Does violence against civilians depress voter turnout? Evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 841-865.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:48:y:2020:i:4:p:841-865
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2020.04.006
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596720300202
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jce.2020.04.006?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. José G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2005. "Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict, and Civil Wars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 796-816, June.
    2. Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2013. "Seeds of distrust: conflict in Uganda," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 217-252, September.
    3. Michal Bauer & Christopher Blattman & Julie Chytilová & Joseph Henrich & Edward Miguel & Tamar Mitts, 2016. "Can War Foster Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 249-274, Summer.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Tarek A. Hassan & James A. Robinson, 2011. "Social Structure and Development: A Legacy of the Holocaust in Russia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 895-946.
    5. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    6. Akresh, Richard & de Walque, Damien, 2008. "Armed Conflict and Schooling: Evidence from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide," IZA Discussion Papers 3516, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Jean-Paul Azam & Anke Hoeffler, 2002. "Violence Against Civilians in Civil Wars: Looting or Terror?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 39(4), pages 461-485, July.
    8. Patrick Ball & Ewa Tabeau & Philip Verwimp, 2007. "The Bosnian Book of Dead: Assessment of the Database (Full Report)," HiCN Research Design Notes 5, Households in Conflict Network.
    9. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    10. Pauline Grosjean, 2014. "Conflict and Social and Political Preferences: Evidence from World War II and Civil Conflict in 35 European Countries," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 56(3), pages 424-451, September.
    11. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    12. Miguel, Edward & Roland, Gérard, 2011. "The long-run impact of bombing Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 1-15, September.
    13. Riker, William H. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1968. "A Theory of the Calculus of Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 25-42, March.
    14. Gianmarco León, 2012. "Civil Conflict and Human Capital Accumulation: The Long-term Effects of Political Violence in Perú," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 991-1022.
    15. Natalija Novta, 2016. "Ethnic Diversity And The Spread Of Civil War," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(5), pages 1074-1100, October.
    16. Swee, Eik Leong, 2015. "Together or separate? Post-conflict partition, ethnic homogenization, and the provision of public schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 1-15.
    17. Riker, William H. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1968. "A Theory of the Calculus of Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 25-42, March.
    18. Stefano Dellavigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier & Gautam Rao, 2017. "Voting to Tell Others," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 143-181.
    19. Christian Ochsner & Felix Rösel, 2017. "Activated History - The Case of the Turkish Sieges of Vienna," CESifo Working Paper Series 6586, CESifo.
    20. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2060-2092, December.
    21. Bellows, John & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "War and local collective action in Sierra Leone," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1144-1157, December.
    22. Coate, Stephen & Conlin, Michael & Moro, Andrea, 2008. "The performance of pivotal-voter models in small-scale elections: Evidence from Texas liquor referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 582-596, April.
    23. Blattman, Christopher, 2009. "From Violence to Voting: War and Political Participation in Uganda," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 231-247, May.
    24. Akresh, Richard & de Walque, Damien, 2008. "Armed Conflict and Schooling: Evidence from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide," IZA Discussion Papers 3516, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    25. Kondylis, Florence, 2010. "Conflict displacement and labor market outcomes in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 235-248, November.
    26. Sam Whitt, 2010. "Institutions and Ethnic Trust: Evidence from Bosnia," Europe-Asia Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 62(2), pages 271-292.
    27. Maarten J. Voors & Eleonora E. M. Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin H. Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan P. Van Soest, 2012. "Violent Conflict and Behavior: A Field Experiment in Burundi," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 941-964, April.
    28. Natalija Novta, 2016. "Ethnic Diversity and the Spread of Civil War," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(5), pages 1074-1100.
    29. Giacomo De Luca & Marijke Verpoorten, 2015. "Civil War and Political Participation: Evidence from Uganda," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(1), pages 113-141.
    30. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
    31. Colella, Fabrizio & Lalive, Rafael & Sakalli, Seyhun Orcan & Thoenig, Mathias, 2019. "Inference with Arbitrary Clustering," IZA Discussion Papers 12584, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    32. Alessandra Cassar & Pauline Grosjean & Sam Whitt, 2013. "Legacies of violence: trust and market development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 285-318, September.
    33. José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2004. "Ethnic polarization, potential conflict and civil wars," Economics Working Papers 770, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2005.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Conzo, Pierluigi & Salustri, Francesco, 2019. "A war is forever: The long-run effects of early exposure to World War II on trust," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    2. Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2013. "Seeds of distrust: conflict in Uganda," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 217-252, September.
    3. Calvo, Thomas & Lavallée, Emmanuelle & Razafindrakoto, Mireille & Roubaud, François, 2020. "Fear Not For Man? Armed conflict and social capital in Mali," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 251-276.
    4. Travers Barclay Child & Elena Nikolova, 2017. "War and Social Attitudes," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 2017-5, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
    5. 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.
    6. Christoph Eder, 2014. "Displacement and education of the next generation: evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, December.
    7. Achyuta Adhvaryu & James Fenske, 2014. "Conflict and the Formation of Political Beliefs in Africa," HiCN Working Papers 164, Households in Conflict Network.
    8. Swee, Eik Leong, 2015. "On war intensity and schooling attainment: The case of Bosnia and Herzegovina," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 158-172.
    9. Cemal Eren Arbatlı & Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2020. "Diversity and Conflict," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 727-797, March.
    10. Sangnier, Marc & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2017. "Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 55-67.
    11. Muhammad Nasir & Marc Rockmore & Chih Ming Tan, 2015. "It's No Spring Break in Cancun: The Effects of Exposure to Violence on Risk Preferences, Pro-Social Behavior, and Mental Health," Working Paper series 15-40, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    12. Coupé, Tom & Obrizan, Maksym, 2016. "Violence and political outcomes in Ukraine—Evidence from Sloviansk and Kramatorsk," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 201-212.
    13. 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.
    14. Mercier, Marion & Ngenzebuke, Rama Lionel & Verwimp, Philip, 2020. "Violence exposure and poverty: Evidence from the Burundi civil war," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 822-840.
    15. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Munyanyi, Musharavati Ephraim & Smyth, Russell & Trinh, Trong-Anh, 2021. "Early life shocks and entrepreneurship: Evidence from the Vietnam War," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 506-518.
    16. Paul Frijters, 2001. "Unemployment benefits and educational choices," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 099a, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    17. Bertoni, Eleonora & Di Maio, Michele & Molini, Vasco & Nisticò, Roberto, 2019. "Education is forbidden: The effect of the Boko Haram conflict on education in North-East Nigeria," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    18. Max Schaub, 2014. "Solidarity with a sharp edge: Communal conflict and local collective action in rural Nigeria," HiCN Working Papers 183, Households in Conflict Network.
    19. Richard Akresh, 2016. "Climate Change, Conflict, and Children," HiCN Working Papers 221, Households in Conflict Network.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civil conflict; Political participation; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Voter turnout; Trust; Ethnic conflict;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:48:y:2020:i:4:p:841-865. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.