Advertisement

Journal of Economic Growth

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 217–252 | Cite as

Seeds of distrust: conflict in Uganda

  • Dominic Rohner
  • Mathias Thoenig
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti
Article

Abstract

We study the effect of civil conflict on social capital, focusing on Uganda’s experience 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 2002–2005. We exploit two waves of survey data from Afrobarometer (Round 4 Afrobarometer Survey in Uganda, 2000, 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 both the spatial and ethnic intensity of fighting. 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. Controlling for the intensity of violence during the conflict, we also document that post-conflict economic recovery is slower in ethnically fractionalized counties. Our findings are consistent with the existence of a self-reinforcing process between conflicts and ethnic cleavages.

Keywords

Acholi Afrobarometer Causal effects of conflict  Civil war  Ethnic conflict Identity Satellite light Trust Uganda 

JEL Classification

C31 C36 H56 N47 O55 Z10 

Notes

Acknowledgments

An earlier version of this paper (with date April 2011) was circulated and presented under the title “Seeds of Distrust? Conflict in Uganda”. We thank three anonymous referees, Jody Ono, Sebastian Ottinger, David Schö nholzer and Nathan Zorzi for excellent assistance, and are grateful for comments to Erwin Bulte, Stefano Della Vigna, Oeindrila Dube, Ernst Fehr, Oded Galor, Pauline Grosjean, Andreas Itten, Peter Jensen, Hannes Mü ller, Eleonora Nillesen, Nathan Nunn, Florian Pelgrin, Torsten Persson, David Strömberg, Jakob Svensson, Marie-Anne Valfort, Leonard Wantchekon, and to seminar participants at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Economic Dynamics in Ghent, “Concentration on Conflict” meeting in Barcelona, “First Meeting on Institutions and Political Economy” in Lisbon, IIES-Stockholm University, Keio University, Namur Workshop on the “Political Economy of Governance and Conflicts”, Royal Economic Society Annual Meeting, CEPR Workshop on the “Political Economy of Development and Conflict” at CREi Barcelona, Tilburg Development Economics Workshop, Università di Bologna, University of Gothenburg, University of Neuchâtel, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and University of Southern Denmark. We also thank Henrik Pilgaard from UNHCR for sharing with us data on IDP in Uganda. Dominic Rohner acknowledges financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. 100014-122636). Mathias Thoenig acknowledges financial support from the ERC Starting Grant GRIEVANCES-313327. Fabrizio Zilibotti acknowledges financial support from the ERC Advanced Grant IPCDP-229883.

Supplementary material

10887_2013_9093_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (340 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 340 KB)

References

  1. ACLED. (2011). Armed Conflict Location and Event Data. Dataset, www.acleddata.com.
  2. Afrobarometer. (2000). Round 1 Afrobarometer Survey in Uganda. Dataset, www.afrobarometer.org.
  3. Afrobarometer. (2008). Round 4 Afrobarometer Survey in Uganda. Dataset, www.afrobarometer.org.
  4. Akresh, R., & de Walque, D. (2010). Armed Conflict and Schooling: Evidence from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Mimeo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Google Scholar
  5. Alesina, A., & La Ferrara, E. (2000). Participation in heterogeneous communities. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115, 847–904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Alesina, A., & La Ferrara, E. (2002). Who trusts others? Journal of Public Economics, 85, 207–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Algan, Y., & Cahuc, P. (2010). Inherited trust and growth. American Economic Review, 100, 2060–2092.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Altonji, J., Elder, T., & Taber, C. (2005). Selection on observed and unobserved variables: Assessing the effectiveness of catholic schools. Journal of Political Economy, 113, 151–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Angrist, J., & Pischke, j. (2009). Mostly harmless econometrics: An empiricist’s companion. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Ashraf, Q., & Galor, O. (2011). Cultural diversity, geographical isolation, and the origin of the wealth of nations. Mimeo, Williams College and Brown University.Google Scholar
  11. Ashraf, Q., & Galor, O. (2013). The ‘out of Africa’ hypothesis, human genetic diversity, and comparative economic development. American Economic Review, 103, 1–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Balcells, L. (2012). The consequences of victimization on political identities: Evidence from Spain. Politics and Society, 40, 309–345.Google Scholar
  13. Barenbaum, J., Ruchkin, V., & Schwab-Stone, M. (2004). The psychological aspects of children exposed to war: Practice and policy initiatives. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 41–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bellows, J., & Miguel, E. (2009). War and local collective action in Sierra Leone. Journal of Public Economics, 93, 1144–1157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Besley, T., & Persson, T. (2011). The logic of political violence. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 126, 1411–1445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Besley, T., & Reynal-Querol, M. (2012). The legacy of historical conflict: Evidence from Africa. Mimeo, London School of Economics.Google Scholar
  17. Blattman, C. (2009). From violence to voting: War and political participation in Uganda. American Political Science Review, 103, 231–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Blattman, C., & Annan, J. (2010). The consequences of child soldiering. Review of Economics and Statistics, 92, 882–898.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. (2004). Persistent parochialism: Trust and exclusion in ethnic networks. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 55, 1–23.Google Scholar
  20. Bozzoli, C., Brueck, T., & Muhumuza, T. (2011). Does war influence individual expectations? Economic Letters, 113, 288–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Bun, M., & de Haan, M. (2010). Weak instruments and the first stage F-statistic in IV models with a nonscalar error covariance structure. Mimeo, University of Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  22. Caselli, F., & Coleman II, W. J. (2013). On the theory of ethnic conflict. Journal of the European Economic Association, 11, 161–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Cassar, A., Grosjean, P., & Whitt, S. (2013) Legacies of violence: Trust and market development. Journal of Economic Growth (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  24. Choi, J.-K., & Bowles, S. (2007). The coevolution of parochial altruism and war. Science, 318, 636–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Collier, P., & Hoeffler, A. (2004). Greed and grievance in civil war. Oxford Economic Papers, 56, 563–595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Collier, P., Hoeffler, A., & Rohner, D. (2009). Beyond greed and grievance: Feasibility and civil war. Oxford Economic Papers, 61, 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Collier, P., & Rohner, D. (2008). Democracy, development, and conflict. Journal of the European Economic Association, 6, 531–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Deininger, K. (2003). Causes and consequences of civil strife: Micro-level evidence from Uganda. Oxford Economic Papers, 55, 579–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. DellaVigna, S., Enikolopov, R., Mironova, V., Petrova, M., & Zhuravskaya, E. (2011). Unintended media effects in a conflict environment: Serbian radio and Croatian nationalism. NBER Working Paper No. 16989.Google Scholar
  30. De Luca, G., & Verpoorten, M. (2011). From vice to virtue? Civil war and social capital in Uganda. HiCN Working Paper 111, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.Google Scholar
  31. Derluyn, I., Broekaert, E., Schuyten, G., & De Temmerman, E. (2004). Post-traumatic stress in former Ugandan child soldiers. Lancet, 363, 861–863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Doepke, M., & Zilibotti, F. (2013). Culture, entrepreneurship and growth. In P. Aghion & S. Duralauf (Eds.), Handbook of economic growth (Vol. 2). North Holland (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  33. Dolan, C. (2009). Social torture: The case of Northern Uganda, 1986–2006. New York: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
  34. Dyregrov, A., Gupta, L., Gjestad, R., & Mukanoheli, E. (2000). Trauma exposure and psychological reactions to genocide among Rwandan children. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 13, 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Eichengreen, B. (2008). The European Economy since 1945: Coordinated capitalism and beyond. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Esteban, J., Massimo, M., & Dominic, R. (2011). Strategic mass killings. Mimeo, IAE, Columbia University and University of Zurich.Google Scholar
  37. Esteban, J., Mayoral, L., & Ray, D. (2012). Ethnicity and conflict: An empirical study. American Economic Review, 102, 1310–1342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Esteban, J., & Ray, D. (2011). Linking conflict to inequality and polarization. American Economic Review, 101, 1345–1374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Fafchamps, M. (2000). Ethnicity and credit in African manufacturing. Journal of Development Economics, 61, 205–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Fearon, J., Humphreys, M., & Weinstein, J. (2009). Can development aid contribute to social cohesion after civil war? Evidence from a field experiment in post-conflict Liberia. American Economic Review, 99, 287–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Fearon, J., & Laitin, D. (2003). Ethnicity, insurgency, and civil war. American Political Science Review, 97, 75–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Fehr, E. (2009). On the economics and biology of trust. Journal of the European Economic Association, 7, 235–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Fiala, N. (2013). Economic consequences of forced displacement. Mimeo, German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).Google Scholar
  44. Finnström, S. (2008). Living with bad surroundings: War, history, and everyday moments in Northern Uganda. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Fisman, R. (2003). Ethnic ties and the provision of credit: Relationship-level evidence from African firms. Advances in Economic Analysis & Policy 3, Article 4.Google Scholar
  46. Fryer, R., & Levitt, S. (2004). The causes and consequences of distinctively black names. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119, 767–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Gilligan, M., Benjamin, P., & Cyrus, S. (2010). Civil war and social capital: Behavioral-game evidence from Nepal. Mimeo, NYU and Columbia University.Google Scholar
  48. Giuliano, P., & Spilimbergo, A. (2009). Growing up in a recession: Beliefs and the macroeconomy. NBER Working Paper 15321.Google Scholar
  49. Guiso, L., Sapienza, P., & Zingales, L. (2006). Does culture affect economic outcomes? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20, 23–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Guiso, L., Sapienza, P., & Zingales, L. (2009). Cultural biases and economic exchange. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124, 1095–1131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Henderson, V., Storeygard, A., & Weil, D. (2012). Measuring economic growth from outer space. American Economic Review, 102, 994–1028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Hodler, R., & Raschky, P. (2011). Foreign aid and enlightened leaders. Mimeo, Study Center Gerzensee and Monash University.Google Scholar
  53. Horowitz, D. (2000). Ethnic groups in conflict (2nd ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  54. Humphreys, M., & Weinstein, J. (2007). Demobilization and reintegration. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 51, 531–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Leon, G. (2012). Civil conflict and human capital accumulation: The long term effects of political violence in Peru. Journal of Human Resources, 47, 991–1022.Google Scholar
  56. Lewis, M. P. (Ed.). (2009). Ethnologue: Languages of the world (16th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International. Online version for Languages of Uganda. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=UG.
  57. Médecins sans frontières. (2004). Life in Northern Uganda: All shades of grief and fear. Report.Google Scholar
  58. Michalopoulos, S., & Papaioannou, E. (2013). Pre-colonial ethnic institutions and contemporary African development. Econometrica, 81, 113–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Miguel, E., Saiegh, S., & Satyanath, S. (2011). Civil war exposure and violence. Economics and Politics, 23, 59–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Montalvo, J., & Reynal-Querol, M. (2005). Ethnic polarization, potential conflict, and civil wars. American Economic Review, 95, 796–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Murdock, G. P. (1967). Ethnographic atlas. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  62. Nannyonjo, J. (2005). Conflicts, poverty and human development in Northern Uganda. The Round Table, 94, 473–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2010). Version 4: DMSP-OLS Nighttime Lights Time Series. Dataset, http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/dmsp/downloadV4composites.html#AXP.
  64. Neu, J. (2002). Restoring relations between Uganda and Sudan: The Carter Center process Conciliation Resources. http://www.c-r.org/our-work/accord/northern-uganda/carter-center.php.
  65. Nunn, N., & Wantchekon, L. (2011). The slave trade and the origins of mistrust in Africa. American Economic Review, 101, 3221–3325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Osafo-Kwaako, P., & Robinson, J. (2013). Political centralization in pre-colonial Africa. Journal of Comparative Economics, 41, 6–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Posner, D. (2004). The political salience of cultural difference: Why Chewas and Tumbukas are allies in Zambia and adversaries in Malawi. American Political Science Review, 98, 529–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Rohner, D. (2011). Reputation, group structure and social tensions. Journal of Development Economics, 96, 188–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rohner, D., Thoenig, M., & Zilibotti, F. (2012). Seeds of distrust: Conflict in Uganda. CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8741.Google Scholar
  70. Rohner, D., Thoenig, M., & Zilibotti, F. (2013). War signals: A theory of trade, trust and conflict. Review of Economic Studies (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  71. Shemyakina, G. (2011). The effect of armed conflict on accumulation of schooling: Results from Tajikistan. Journal of Development Economics, 95, 186–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sobel, J. (2002). Can we trust social capital? Journal of Economic Literature, XL, 139–154.Google Scholar
  73. Strömberg, D. (2004). Radio’s impact on public spending. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119, 189–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Swee, E. L. (2008). On war and Schooling attainment: The case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mimeo, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  75. Tilly, C. (1975). The formation of national states in Western Europe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  76. Ugandan Bureau of Statistics. (2002). Census 2002. Dataset, http://www.ubos.org.
  77. UN. (2009). United Nations’ Peace Building and Recovery Assistance Programme For Northern Uganda 2009–2011 (UNPRAP). Report.Google Scholar
  78. UNHCR. (2006). Annual Statistic Report on Uganda. Dataset (obtained by direct correspondence).Google Scholar
  79. UNHCR. (2010). Statistical Online Population Database. Dataset, www.unhcr.org.
  80. UNOCHA. (2002). Pushing the envelope: Moving beyond ‘protected villages’ in Northern Uganda. Report.Google Scholar
  81. Vargas Hill, R., Bernard T., & Dewina, R. (2008). Cooperative behaviour in rural Uganda: Evidence from the Uganda National Household Survey 2005. International Food Policy Research Institute Background Paper.Google Scholar
  82. Voors, M., Nillesen, E., Verwimp, P., Bulte, E., & Lensink, R. (2012). Violent conflict and behavior: A field experiment in Burundi. American Economic Review, 102, 941–964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Weidmann, N. B., Rød, J. K., & Cederman, L.-E. (2010). Representing ethnic groups in space: A new dataset. Journal of Peace Research, 47, 491–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Whitt, S., & Rick, W. (2007). The dictator game, fairness and ethnicity in postwar Bosnia. American Journal of Political Science, 51, 655–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Women’s Commission. (2001). Against all odds: Surviving the war on adolescents. Research study, http://www.womenscommission.org/.
  86. World Values Survey. (2009). World Values Survey. Dataset, http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/index_html.
  87. Yanagizawa-Drott, D. (2012). Propaganda and conflict: Theory and evidence from the Rwandan genocide. CID Working Paper 257, Harvard University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominic Rohner
    • 1
  • Mathias Thoenig
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations