Does Conflict Affect Preferences? Results from Field Experiments in Burundi

47 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2010

See all articles by Maarten Voors

Maarten Voors

Wageningen UR

Eleonora E. Nillesen

United Nations University (UNU-MERIT); Maastricht University

Philip Verwimp

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management; Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Erwin H. Bulte

Tilburg University - Department of Economics; Wageningen University

Robert Lensink

University of Groningen - Department of Economics, Econometrics and Finance; Wageningen UR - Development Economics Group

Daan van Soest

Tilburg University - CentER & Department of Economics

Date Written: January 3, 2010

Abstract

We use experimental data from 35 randomly selected communities in Burundi to examine the impact of exposure to conflict on social-, risk- and time preferences. These types of preferences are important as they determine people’s propensity to invest and their ability to overcome social dilemmas, so that changes therein foster or hinder economic growth. We find that conflict affects preferences. Individuals that have been exposed to greater levels of violence display more altruistic behavior towards their neighbors, are more risk seeking, and have higher discount rates. Adverse, but temporary, shocks can thus alter savings and investments decisions, and potentially have long-run consequences.

Keywords: civil war, preferences, field experiments, Africa

Suggested Citation

Voors, Maarten and Nillesen, Eleonora E. and Verwimp, Philip and Bulte, Erwin H. and Lensink, Robert and van Soest, Daan P., Does Conflict Affect Preferences? Results from Field Experiments in Burundi (January 3, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1564289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1564289

Maarten Voors (Contact Author)

Wageningen UR ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

Eleonora E. Nillesen

United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) ( email )

Maastricht
Netherlands

Maastricht University

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

Philip Verwimp

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management ( email )

19 Av Franklin Roosevelt
1050
Brussels
Belgium

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

Erwin H. Bulte

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 9111 (Phone)

Wageningen University

Hollandseweg 1
6706 KN
Wageningen
Netherlands

Robert Lensink

University of Groningen - Department of Economics, Econometrics and Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AH Groningen
Netherlands

Wageningen UR - Development Economics Group ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
WAGENINGEN, 6706 KN
Netherlands

Daan P. Van Soest

Tilburg University - CentER & Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2072 (Phone)

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