IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Elephants, Tigers and Safety in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka


  • Dinuk Jayasuriya


  • John Gibson



Civilian suffering from civil war extends well after the ceasefire. Reliable ways to measure perceived safety are needed in post-conflict settings, since the extent to which safety improves may be crucial in maintaining the peace. Yet obtaining truthful reports from respondents in these settings is unlikely. Individuals traumatised by conflict may be reticent to reveal opinions that could expose them to sanction from either the authorities or their peers. List experiments, where respondents are given a list of statements and, without revealing particular answers, count how many listed items are true, can yield sensitive information. This paper uses list experiments to study perceived safety among civilians in areas where fighting was most intense during the recently-concluded 25-year civil war between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government of Sri Lanka. The results show substantial differences in reported safety, depending on whether they were elicited through direct questions or indirectly through the list experiment. Biased answers to direct questions about safety could alter conclusions about which ethnic and gender groups are most fearful. Qualitative interviews reveal some unexpected sources of fear.

Suggested Citation

  • Dinuk Jayasuriya & John Gibson, 2013. "Elephants, Tigers and Safety in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka," Development Policy Centre Discussion Papers 1228, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:devpol:1228

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    2. Swamy, Anand & Knack, Stephen & Lee, Young & Azfar, Omar, 2001. "Gender and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-55, February.
    3. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    4. Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear efficient two-step GMM estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 25-51, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:een:devpol:1228. 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: (Macarena Rojas). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.