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Can War Foster Cooperation?

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  • Bauer, Michal
  • Blattman, Christopher
  • Chytilova, Julie
  • Henrich, Joseph
  • Miguel, Edward
  • Mitts, Tamar

Abstract

In the past decade, nearly 20 studies have found a strong, persistent pattern in surveys and behavioral experiments from over 40 countries: individual exposure to war violence tends to increase social cooperation at the local level, including community participation and prosocial behavior. Thus while war has many negative legacies for individuals and societies, it appears to leave a positive legacy in terms of local cooperation and civic engagement. We discuss, synthesize and reanalyze the emerging body of evidence, and weigh alternative explanations. There is some indication that war violence especially enhances in-group or "parochial" norms and preferences, a finding that, if true, suggests that the rising social cohesion we document need not promote broader peace.

Suggested Citation

  • Bauer, Michal & Blattman, Christopher & Chytilova, Julie & Henrich, Joseph & Miguel, Edward & Mitts, Tamar, 2016. "Can War Foster Cooperation?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11327, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11327
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Conzo, Pierluigi & Salustri, Francesco, 2017. "A war is forever: The long-run effects of early exposure to World War II on trust?," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201735, University of Turin.
    2. 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).
    3. Erik O. Kimbrough & Kevin Laughren & Roman Sheremeta, 2017. "War and Conflict in Economics: Theories, Applications, and Recent Trends," Discussion Papers dp17-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    4. Muhammad Kabir Salihu & Andrea Guariso, 2017. "Rainfall inequality, trust and civil conflict in Nigeria," Working Papers 205618510, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    5. Robert Böhm & Jürgen Fleiß & Robert Rybnicek, 2017. "Social Preferences in Inter-Group Conflict," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2017-06, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
    6. Maximiliane Hörl & Iris Kesternich & James P. Smith & Joachim Winter, 2016. "Early-life Circumstances Predict Measures of Trust among Adults: Evidence from Hunger Episodes in Post-War Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 6093, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Jennings, Colin & Sanchez-Pages, Santiago, 2017. "Social capital, conflict and welfare," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 157-167.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cooperation; post-conflict development; social preferences; war;

    JEL classification:

    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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