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Does Conflict affect Preferences? Results from Field Experiments in Burundi

Author

Listed:
  • Maarten Voors

    (Wageningen University)

  • Eleonora Nillesen

    (Wageningen University)

  • Philip Verwimp

    (University of Antwerp)

  • Erwin Bulte

    (Wageningen University)

  • Robert Lensink

    (Wageningen University)

  • Daan van Soest

    (VU University Amsterdam)

Abstract

We use experimental data from 35 randomly selected communities in Burundi to examine the impact of exposure to conflict on social-, risk- and time preferences. These types of preferences are important as they determine people’s propensity to invest and their ability to overcome social dilemmas, so that changes therein foster or hinder economic growth. We find that conflict affects preferences. Individuals that have been exposed to greater levels of violence display more altruistic behavior towards their neighbors, are more risk seeking, and have higher discount rates. Adverse, but temporary, shocks can thus alter savings and investments decisions, and potentially have long-run consequences.

Suggested Citation

  • Maarten Voors & Eleonora Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan van Soest, 2010. "Does Conflict affect Preferences? Results from Field Experiments in Burundi," Research Working Papers 21, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcn:rwpapr:21
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