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Social Cooperation and the Problem of the Conflict Gap: Survey and Experimental Evidence from Post-War Tajikistan

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandra Cassar

    (University of San Francisco)

  • Pauline Grosjean

    () (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)

  • Sam Whitt

    (U.S. Department of State)

Abstract

Our research provides experimental and survey evidence on the pro-social behavior (trust, reciprocity, a sense of fairness) and preferences for anonymous market transactions of former combatants. Our results, from a random sample in post-war Tajikistan, show that trust, reciprocity, generosity (dictator giving) are lowest among those respondents reporting having fought during the 1992-1997 Tajik civil war or anytime since its end, especially when the experimental treatment matches individuals with anonymous others from their local community. Consistent with the behavioral results, fighting is associated with lower trust towards any group outside the direct family, a lower willingness to engage in impersonal exchange and stronger kinship-based norms of morality. Replicating previous literature results, we find that ex-combatants are more likely to participate in groups and collective action but we caution that this may just capture political opposition, just as participating in combat did. Overall, our results point to a lasting “conflict gap” between combatants and non-combatants, even long after the end of the civil war, which question the rehabilitation of combatants.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra Cassar & Pauline Grosjean & Sam Whitt, 2011. "Social Cooperation and the Problem of the Conflict Gap: Survey and Experimental Evidence from Post-War Tajikistan," Discussion Papers 2011-15, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  • Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2011-15
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    File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2011-15.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    3. Willa Friedman, 2013. "Local Economic Conditions and Participation in the Rwandan Genocide," HiCN Working Papers 160, Households in Conflict Network.
    4. Alan B. Krueger & Jitka Maleckova, 2003. "Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 119-144, Fall.
    5. Jeannie Annan & Christopher Blattman & Dyan Mazurana & Khristopher Carlson, 2011. "Civil War, Reintegration, and Gender in Northern Uganda," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(6), pages 877-908, December.
    6. Leonardo Becchetti & Pierluigi Conzo & Alessandro Romeo, 2014. "Violence, trust, and trustworthiness: evidence from a Nairobi slum," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 283-305, January.
    7. Jean-Paul Azam, 2005. "Suicide-bombing as inter-generational investment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 177-198, January.
    8. Alessandra Cassar & Pauline Grosjean & Sam Whitt, 2011. "Civil War, Social Capital and Market Development: Experimental and Survey Evidence on the Negative Consequences of Violence," Discussion Papers 2011-14, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Young-Il & Lee, Jungmin, 2014. "The long-run impact of a traumatic experience on risk aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 174-186.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civil war; trust game; dictator game; market institution; experimental methods;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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