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

July 12, 2014


Abstract:     
We evaluate an agricultural training and inputs program for high-risk Liberian men, mainly ex-fighters engaged in illegal resource extraction with opportunities for mercenary work. We show that increasing farm productivity raised the opportunity cost of illicit work. After 14 months, treated men shifted from illicit extraction to agriculture, though on the intensive margin only. When war erupted nearby, they were less likely to engage with mercenary recruiters. The promise of cash transfers to those staying on their farms deterred mercenary work more than past assistance. We provide the first rigorous, individual-level estimates on the opportunity cost effect outside the USA.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 74

Keywords: employment, crime, training, agriculture, conflict, field experiment, Africa, Liberia

JEL Classification: D74, O12, J21, C93

working papers series





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Date posted: May 2, 2014 ; Last revised: July 30, 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 (July 12, 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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