Publication detail

Trusting Former Rebels: An Experimental Approach to Understanding Reintegration after Civil War

Author(s): doc. PhDr. Michal Bauer Ph.D., Nathan Fiala
Mgr. Ian Levely , Nathan Fiala
Type: Others
Year: 2014
Number: 0
ISSN / ISBN: 1211-3298
Published in: CERGE-EI Working Papers
Publishing place: Prague
Keywords: trust, cooperation, civil war, endogenous preferences, soldiers, reintegration
JEL codes: C93, D03, D74, O12
Suggested Citation: Bauer, Michal; Nathan Fiala and Ian Levely. 2014. "Trusting Former Rebels: An Experimental Approach to Understanding Reintegration after Civil War," CERGE-EI Working Paper Series, no. 512..
Grants: Trust and Trustworthiness Among Ex-Combatants in Northern Uganda: Experimental Evidence
Abstract: The stability of many post-conict societies rests on the successful reintegration
of former soldiers. We use an experimental approach to study reintegration in
Northern Uganda and examine behavior of former soldiers together with the be-
havior of receiving communities towards this group. We focus on trust-based
interactions and nd that individual trustworthiness increases with the length of
time a person was with the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group which forcibly
recruited a large fraction of young people in the area. The eect is strongest
among former soldiers who were abducted during childhood and is mute among
those who soldiered during adulthood. These results are consistent with predic-
tions of recent theories that highlight the importance of cooperation during war.
Furthermore, members of receiving communities with an abductee son, who thus
have better knowledge of former soldiers are aware of the behavioral dierence.
They believe former soldiers are more trustworthy than their peers and trust them
more. Last, we nd no evidence of reference-based discrimination, suggesting that anger is attenuated when communities do not attribute responsibility for committed violence to returning soldiers.
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