IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Seeds of Distrust: Conflict in Uganda

  • Dominic Rohner
  • Mathias Thoenig
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

We study the effect of civil conflict on social capital, focusing on the experience of Uganda during the last decade. Using individual and county-level data, we document large causal effects on trust and ethnic identity of an exogenous outburst of ethnic conflicts in 2002-05. We exploit two waves of survey data from Afrobarometer 2000 and 2008, including information on socioeconomic characteristics at the individual level, and geo-referenced measures of fighting events from ACLED. Our identification strategy exploits variations in the intensity of fighting both in the spatial and cross-ethnic dimensions. We find that more intense fighting decreases generalized trust and increases ethnic identity. The effects are quantitatively large and robust to a number of control variables, alternative measures of violence, and different statistical techniques involving ethnic and spatial fixed effects and instrumental variables. We also document that the post-war effects of ethnic violence depend on the ethnic fractionalization. Fighting has a negative e¤ect on the economic situation in highly fractionalized counties, but has no effect in less fractionalized counties. Our findings are consistent with the existence of a self-reinforcing process between conflicts and ethnic cleavages.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford in its series OxCarre Working Papers with number 078.

in new window

Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:078
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Macours, Karen, 2014. "Ethnic divisions, contract choice, and search costs in the Guatemalan land rental market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-18.
  2. Nils B. Weidmann & Jan Ketil Roslashd & Lars-Erik Cederman, 2010. "Representing ethnic groups in space: A new dataset," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(4), pages 491-499, July.
  3. Eik Leong Swee, 2009. "On War and Schooling Attainment: The Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina," HiCN Working Papers 57, Households in Conflict Network.
  4. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 2006. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEPR Discussion Papers 5622, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2012. "Cultural Diversity, Geographical Isolation, and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 6319, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Stefano DellaVigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia," NBER Working Papers 16989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2009. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," NBER Working Papers 15199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 2004. "Persistent parochialism: trust and exclusion in ethnic networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-23, September.
  9. Akresh, Richard & de Walque, Damien, 2008. "Armed conflict and schooling : evidence from the 1994 Rwandan genocide," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4606, The World Bank.
  10. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2012. "Pre-colonial Ethnic Institutions and Contemporary African Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 9068, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
  12. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "The Logic of Political Violence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1411-1445.
  13. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
  14. Joan-Maria Esteban & Laura Mayoral & Marc Le Menestrel, 2010. "Ethnicity And Conflict: An Empirical Study," Working Papers 482, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  15. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/42, European University Institute.
  16. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2006. "Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War," CSAE Working Paper Series 2006-10, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  17. Bozzoli, Carlos & Brück, Tilman & Muhumuza, Tony, 2011. "Does war influence individual expectations?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(3), pages 288-291.
  18. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2009. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," NBER Working Papers 14783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic Mass Killings," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/23, European University Institute.
  20. Roland Hodler & Paul A. Raschky, 2010. "Foreign Aid and Enlightened Leaders," Working Papers 10.05, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  21. Christopher Blattman, 2006. "The Consequences of Child Soldiering," HiCN Working Papers 22, Households in Conflict Network.
  22. Maarten Voors & Eleonora Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan van Soest, 2010. "Does Conflict affect Preferences? Results from Field Experiments in Burundi," HiCN Working Papers 71, Households in Conflict Network.
  23. Gianmarco León, 2012. "Civil Conflict and Human Capital Accumulation: The Long-term Effects of Political Violence in Perú," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 991-1022.
  24. Ernst Fehr, 2008. "On the Economics and Biology of Trust," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 154, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  25. Maarten J. Voors & Eleonora E. M. Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin H. Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan P. Van Soest, 2012. "Violent Conflict and Behavior: A Field Experiment in Burundi," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 941-64, April.
  26. Giacomo De Luca & Marijke Verpoorten, 2011. "From Vice to Virtue? Civil War and Social Capital in Uganda," HiCN Working Papers 111, Households in Conflict Network.
  27. Jha, Saumitra, 2008. "Trade, Institutions and Religious Tolerance: Evidence from India," Research Papers 2004, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  28. Oded Galor & Quamrul Ashraf, 2007. "Cultural Assimilation, Cultural Diffusion and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," Working Papers 2007-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  29. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2009. "Linking Conflict to Inequality and Polarization," Working Papers 377, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  30. Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Reputation, Group Structure and Social Tensions," HiCN Working Papers 40, Households in Conflict Network.
  31. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
  32. Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibottix, 2011. "War Signals: A Theory of Trade, Trust and Conflict," HiCN Working Papers 95, Households in Conflict Network.
  33. Bellows, John & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "War and local collective action in Sierra Leone," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1144-1157, December.
  34. Philip Osafo-Kwaako & James A. Robinson, 2013. "Political Centralization in Pre-Colonial Africa," NBER Working Papers 18770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. andrea boltho, 2008. "The European economy since 1945: coordinated capitalism and beyond - By Barry J. Eichengreen," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(1), pages 258-259, 02.
  36. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  37. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  38. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2008. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 14316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. James D. Fearon & Macartan Humphreys & Jeremy M. Weinstein, 2009. "Can Development Aid Contribute to Social Cohesion after Civil War? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Post-conflict Liberia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 287-91, May.
  40. Osafo-Kwaako, Philip & Robinson, James A., 2013. "Political centralization in pre-colonial Africa," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 6-21.
  41. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2000. "Ethnicity and credit in African manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 205-235, February.
  42. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221.
  43. Nathan Fiala, 2012. "The Economic Consequences of Forced Displacement," HiCN Working Papers 137, Households in Conflict Network.
  44. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2060-92, December.
  46. Klaus Deininger, 2003. "Causes and consequences of civil strife: micro-level evidence from Uganda," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 579-606, October.
  47. Edward Miguel & Sebastián M. Saiegh & Shanker Satyanath, 2011. "Civil War Exposure And Violence," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 59-73, 03.
  48. José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2004. "Ethnic polarization, potential conflict and civil wars," Economics Working Papers 770, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2005.
  49. Deininger, Klaus, 2003. "Causes and consequences of civil strife - micro-level evidence from Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3045, The World Bank.
  50. Christopher Blattman, 2008. "From Violence to Voting: War and political participation in Uganda," Working Papers 138, Center for Global Development.
  51. Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 139-154, March.
  52. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  53. Alessandra Cassar & Pauline Grosjean & Sam Whitt, 2013. "Legacies of violence: trust and market development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 285-318, September.
  54. Macartan Humphreys & Jeremy M. Weinstein, 2007. "Demobilization and Reintegration," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 51(4), pages 531-567, August.
  55. José G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2005. "Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict, and Civil Wars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 796-816, June.
  56. Karl R. Derouen JR & Jacob Bercovitch, 2008. "Enduring Internal Rivalries: A New Framework for the Study of Civil War," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 45(1), pages 55-74, January.
  57. Paul Collier & Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Democracy, Development, and Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 531-540, 04-05.
  58. Olga Shemyakina, 2006. "The Effect of Armed Conflict on Accumulation of Schooling: Results from Tajikistan," HiCN Working Papers 12, Households in Conflict Network.
  59. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805.
  60. Nannyonjo, Justine, 2005. "Conflicts, Poverty and Human Development in Northern Uganda," Working Paper Series RP2005/47, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:078. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Celia Kingham)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.