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Conflict and the evolution of institutions: Unbundling institutions at the local level in Burundi

Author

Listed:
  • Maarten J Voors

    () (Wageningen University & University of Cambridge
    Wageningen University & University of Cambridge)

  • Erwin H Bulte

    (Wageningen University & Tilburg University
    Wageningen University & Tilburg University)

Abstract

The impact of armed conflict may persist long after the end of war, and may include a lasting institutional legacy. We use a novel dataset from rural Burundi to examine the impact of local exposure to conflict on institutional quality, and try to ‘unbundle’ institutions by distinguishing between three dimensions of the institutional framework: property rights security, local political institutions, and social capital. We find that conflict exposure affects institutional quality, and document that the impact of conflict on institutional quality may be positive or negative, depending on the institutional measure. Specifically, exposure to violence strengthens in-group social capital and promotes tenure security. However, the appreciation for state institutions is negatively affected by exposure to violence. We find no evidence consistent with design-based theories of institutional quality, or the idea that institutional quality is enhanced by interventions of (non)state external actors. Instead our findings provide some support for the theory of parochial altruism. Our results emphasize the importance for policymakers to consider autonomous responses to conflict when designing development programs. They further imply some caution for actors seeking to reform local institutions through top-down interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Maarten J Voors & Erwin H Bulte, 2014. "Conflict and the evolution of institutions: Unbundling institutions at the local level in Burundi," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 51(4), pages 455-469, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:51:y:2014:i:4:p:455-469
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Ceren Baysan & Marshall Burke & Felipe GonzaÌ lez & Solomon Hsiang & Edward Miguel, 2019. "Economic and Non-Economic Factors in Violence: Evidence from Organized Crime, Suicides and Climate in Mexico," HiCN Working Papers 292, Households in Conflict Network.
    3. van der Windt, Peter & Humphreys, Macartan & Medina, Lily & Timmons, Jeffrey F. & Voors, Maarten, 2019. "Citizen Attitudes Toward Traditional and State Authorities: Substitutes or Complements?," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1810-1840.
    4. Abbie Turiansky, "undated". "Collective Action in Games as in Life: Experimental Evidence from Canal Cleaning in Haiti," Mathematica Policy Research Reports b4f3a3ef599b43c6a875d9380, Mathematica Policy Research.
    5. 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).
    6. Carmignani, Fabrizio & Kler, Parvinder, 2018. "Your war, my problem: How conflict in a neighbour country hurts domestic development," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 484-495.

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