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Seeds of distrust: Conflict in Uganda

Dominic Rohner (), Mathias Thoenig () and Fabrizio Zilibotti ()

No 54, ECON - Working Papers from Department of Economics - University of Zurich

Abstract: 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 causal effects on trust and ethnic identity of an exogenous outburst of ethnic conflicts in 2002-04. 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 county 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 effect 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.

Keywords: Conflict; trust; ethnic fighting; Uganda; social capital; identity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 O12 Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo and nep-soc
Date: 2011-12
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Related works:
Journal Article: Seeds of distrust: conflict in Uganda (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Seeds of Distrust: Conflict in Uganda (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Seeds of Distrust: Conflict in Uganda (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Seeds of Distrust: Conflict in Uganda (2012) Downloads
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