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Fear Not For Man? Armed conflict and social capital in Mali

Thomas Calvo, Emmanuelle Lavallée, Mireille Razafindrakoto and Francois Roubaud ()

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2020, vol. 48, issue 2, 251-276

Abstract: This paper studies the effects of armed conflict on social capital in Mali, where a violent conflict has been raging since 2012. We examine the conflict’s impacts on associational membership using event location data and unique survey data on governance, peace and security (GPS-SHaSA). We show that, in conflict-exposed areas, adult involvement in associations increases from 7 to 14 percentage points. Instrumental variable and difference-in-differences strategies complementary mitigate reverse causation and omitted variable biases as estimated results remain very consistent. Robust estimations constrained to non-migrants samples also rule out selection into migration. Yet this result, consistent with the argument that armed conflict cultivates social engagement, is not a positive outcome in the case of Mali. The increase is observed solely for family and political associations, which are comparatively inward-looking and act as interest groups. We interpret this finding as a form of withdrawal behind group or community boundaries, an interpretation supported by further analysis of interpersonal trust. This sort of withdrawal may exacerbate ethnic divisions and deepen the conflict.

Keywords: Social capital; Conflict; Participation; Trust; Mali (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D71 F51 O12 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Fear Not For Man? Armed conflict and social capital in Mali (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Fear Not For Man ? Armed conflict and social capital in Mali (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Fear not for man? Armed conflict and social capital in Mali (2018)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:48:y:2020:i:2:p:251-276

DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2019.11.005

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