Work detail

Three Essays on Post-Conflict Reintegration

Author: Ian Levely (2.12.2015)
Year: 2015 - winter
Leaders: doc. PhDr. Michal Bauer Ph.D.
Work type: Dissertations
Language: English
Pages: 169
Awards and prizes:
Abstract: This dissertation consists of three essays which explore the effects of conflict and the post-conflict reintegration process, each using a different methodology to study a different facet of these issues, including an analysis of survey data, an artefactual economic experiment conducted in the field, and an laboratory experiment. The research presented here demonstrates how these methods complement one another in contributing to our understanding of how conflict affects individuals' well-being and behavior. In the first essay, I analyze an existing data set from a survey of ex-combatants in Liberia to estimate the effect of a reintegration program for former soldiers on participants’ income and employment status, using propensity score matching to account for self-selection bias. Though the results indicate a higher employment rate for those who complete the program, there is consistently no effect on income. This has implications for evaluating the integrated approach to ex-combatant reintegration that the program embodied. The second chapter also deals with the reintegration of ex-soldiers, but focuses on social capital, using a set of experiments, including trust and dictator games, to study the effects of forced military service for a rebel group on social capital in northern Uganda. We find that individual cooperativeness robustly increases with soldiering, especially among those who soldiered during early age, and that parents of ex-soldiers are aware of the behavioral difference: they trust ex-soldiers more and expect them to be more trustworthy. These results suggest that the impact of child soldiering on social capital, in contrast to human capital, is not necessarily detrimental. In the third chapter, we study cooperation within and between groups in the laboratory, by modeling conflict with an inter-group Tullock rent-seeking contest, and manipulating groups' conflict history to measure the effect of conflict on cooperation using a multi-level public good game. We demonstrate that conflict increases cooperation within groups, while decreasing cooperation between groups.
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