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Conflict and the Formation of Political Beliefs in Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Achyuta Adhvaryu

    () (University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business)

  • James Fenske

    () (University of Oxford, Department of Economics)

Abstract

We test whether living through conflict in childhood changes political beliefs and engagement. We combine data on the location and intensity of conflicts since 1945 with nationally representative data on political attitudes and behaviors from 17 sub-Saharan African countries. Exposure from ages 0 to 14 has a very small standardized impact on later attitudes and behaviors. This finding is robust to migration and holds across a variety of definitions, specifications, and sources of data. Our results suggest that at the population level in Africa, conflict does not alter political beliefs, though the most exposed sub-populations may experience large, lasting effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Achyuta Adhvaryu & James Fenske, 2014. "Conflict and the Formation of Political Beliefs in Africa," HiCN Working Papers 164, Households in Conflict Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:164
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    conflict; political beliefs; early childhood; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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