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The Opec Boys and the political economy of smuggling in northern Uganda

  • Els Lecoutere

    ()

    (Ghent University)

  • Kristof Titeca

    ()

    (Ghent University)

In this article, we unearth the institution for enforcement of the agreement between the Opec Boys, fuel smugglers and ex-rebels, and a politician, who allows them to conduct illegal smuggling. Rather than the Opec Boys’ threat of rebellion, their promise of political support and refraining from civil disorder matters to inflict cooperation. A repeated play mechanism where the players punish each other for defection but return to cooperation makes up the ‘rules of the game’. Uncovering this endogenously emerged institution for contract enforcement explicitly reveals the importance of political alliances in the second economy in a fragile state environment.

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Paper provided by Households in Conflict Network in its series HiCN Working Papers with number 36.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:36
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.hicn.org

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  1. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
  2. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  4. Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 6355, April.
  5. Douglass C North & John Joseph Wallis & Barry R. Weingast, 2006. "A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History," NBER Working Papers 12795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938.
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