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How war affects political attitudes: evidence from eastern Ukraine

Author

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  • Huber, Martin
  • Tyahlo, Svitlana

Abstract

This study empirically evaluates the impact of the war in eastern Ukraine on the political attitudes and sentiments towards Ukraine and Russia among the population living close to the war zone on the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government. Exploiting unique survey data that were collected in early 2013 (13 months before the outbreak of the conflict) and early 2015 (11 months after the outbreak), we employ two strategies to infer how the war has affected two different groups defined by distance to the war zone. First, we apply a before-after analysis to examine intra-group changes in attitudes over time. Second, we use a difference-in-differences approach to investigate inter-group divergence over time. Under particular assumptions, the latter approach yields a lower absolute bound for the effect. We control for a range of observed characteristics and consider both parametric and semiparametric estimation based on inverse probability weighting. Our results suggest that one year of conflict negatively affected attitudes towards Russia, while mostly no statistically significant intra- or inter-group differences were found for sentiments towards Ukraine.

Suggested Citation

  • Huber, Martin & Tyahlo, Svitlana, 2016. "How war affects political attitudes: evidence from eastern Ukraine," FSES Working Papers 472, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fri:fribow:fribow00472
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    treatment effect; difference-in-differences; political attitudes; war; conflict; Ukraine; Russia;

    JEL classification:

    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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