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

Jeannie Annan


International Rescue Committee

December 16, 2014


Abstract:     
In fragile states, job programs are designed to deter high-risk men from crime and violence. These programs assume that supplying skills and capital stimulates lawful employment, that employment deters illegal or violent work, and that employment will increase socio-political integration. Rigorous, individual-level evidence for these assumptions is rare. We evaluate a program of agricultural training and capital for Liberian ex-fighters. The agricultural skills and capital increased returns to lawful employment. Consequently, the men were 24% less engaged with mercenary recruiters during a neighboring war. They also shifted hours from illicit work (e.g. illegal mining) to agriculture by 20%. Some men did not receive the capital inputs and expected a cash transfer instead. Expecting future transfers was especially influential in deterring illicit and mercenary work. We see no evidence, however, that employment affects non-material violence or socio-political integration. The findings challenge strategies for employing and rehabilitating high-risk men.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 77

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

JEL Classification: D74, O12, J21, C93

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Date posted: May 2, 2014 ; Last revised: December 17, 2014

Suggested Citation

Blattman, Christopher and Annan, Jeannie, Can Employment Reduce Lawlessness and Rebellion? A Field Experiment with High-Risk Men in a Fragile State (December 16, 2014). 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
Jeannie Annan
International Rescue Committee ( email )
New York, NY
United States
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