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); Columbia University - Department of Political Science; Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD); Center for Global Development; Innovations for Poverty Action; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Jeannie Annan


International Rescue Committee

March 6, 2015


Abstract:     
In fragile states, reintegration programs aim to deter high-risk men from crime and violence. They typically supply skills and capital to increase lawful employment, arguing that employment deters predatory work and increases socio-political integration. While plausible, rigorous evidence is rare. We evaluate a program of agricultural training, capital inputs, and counseling for Liberian ex-fighters. The program did not change social networks, violent attitudes, or aggression. But capital and skills increased returns to farming, and men shifted work hours from illicit to farm activities by 20%. Men also reduced interest in mercenary work in a nearby war. Finally, some men did not receive their inputs but expected a future cash transfer instead. They reduced illicit/mercenary activities most of all. We conclude that higher returns to peaceful work do reduce illicit work and armed recruitment, but to deter future violence, programs must provide ongoing material incentives or better enforcement and re-socialization.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 82

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: March 7, 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 (March 6, 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
Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )
MC3320
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )
Duke University
Durham, NC 90097
United States
Center for Global Development ( email )
2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States
Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )
New Haven, CT
United States
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) ( email )
United States
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Jeannie Annan
International Rescue Committee ( email )
New York, NY
United States
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