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

Author

Listed:
  • Els Lecoutere

    () (Ghent University)

  • Kristof Titeca

    () (Ghent University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Els Lecoutere & Kristof Titeca, 2007. "The Opec Boys and the political economy of smuggling in northern Uganda," HiCN Working Papers 36, Households in Conflict Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:36
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    File URL: http://www.hicn.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/HiCN-WP-36.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    3. Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 6355.
    4. 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.
    5. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilberto Gonz'alez-Parra & Benito Chen-Charpentier & Abraham J. Arenas & Miguel Diaz-Rodriguez, 2015. "Mathematical modeling of physical capital using the spatial Solow model," Papers 1504.04388, arXiv.org.
    2. Titeca, Kristof & Vervisch, Thomas, 2008. "The Dynamics of Social Capital and Community Associations in Uganda: Linking Capital and its Consequences," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2205-2222, November.

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