Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2431293
 


 



Can Employment Reduce Lawlessness and Rebellion? A Field Experiment with High-Risk Men in a Fragile State


Christopher Blattman


Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeannie Annan


International Rescue Committee

June 12, 2015


Abstract:     
States and aid agencies use employment programs to rehabilitate high-risk men in the belief that peaceful work opportunities will deter them from crime and violence. Rigorous evidence is rare. We experimentally evaluate a program of agricultural training, capital inputs, and counseling for Liberian ex-fighters who were illegally mining or occupying rubber plantations. 14 months after the program ended, men who accepted the program offer increased their farm employment and profits, and shifted work hours away from illicit activities. Men also reduced interest in mercenary work in a nearby war. Finally, some men did not receive their capital inputs but expected a future cash transfer instead, and they reduced illicit and mercenary activities most of all. The evidence suggests that illicit and mercenary labor supply responds to small changes in returns to peaceful work, especially future and ongoing incentives. But the impacts of training alone, without capital, appear to be low.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 85

Keywords: post-conflict, violence, reintegration, rehabilitation, employment, crime, training, agriculture, conflict, field experiment, Africa, Liberia, social reintegration

JEL Classification: D74, O12, J21, C93


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Date posted: May 2, 2014 ; Last revised: June 13, 2015

Suggested Citation

Blattman, Christopher and Annan, Jeannie, Can Employment Reduce Lawlessness and Rebellion? A Field Experiment with High-Risk Men in a Fragile State (June 12, 2015). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2431293 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2431293

Contact Information

Christopher Blattman (Contact Author)
Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Jeannie Annan
International Rescue Committee ( email )
New York, NY
United States
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