Social Cooperation and the Problem of the Conflict Gap: Survey and Experimental Evidence from Post-War Tajikistan

35 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2012

See all articles by Alessandra Cassar

Alessandra Cassar

University of San Francisco - Department of Economics

Pauline A. Grosjean

UNSW Business School, School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Sam Whitt

High Point University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: October 7, 2011

Abstract

Our research provides experimental and survey evidence on the pro-social behavior (trust, reciprocity, a sense of fairness) and preferences for anonymous market transactions of former combatants. Our results, from a random sample in post-war Tajikistan, show that trust, reciprocity, generosity (dictator giving) are lowest among those respondents reporting having fought during the 1992-1997 Tajik civil war or anytime since its end, especially when the experimental treatment matches individuals with anonymous others from their local community. Consistent with the behavioral results, fighting is associated with lower trust towards any group outside the direct family, a lower willingness to engage in impersonal exchange and stronger kinship-based norms of morality. Replicating previous literature results, we find that ex-combatants are more likely to participate in groups and collective action but we caution that this may just capture political opposition, just as participating in combat did. Overall, our results point to a lasting “conflict gap” between combatants and non-combatants, even long after the end of the civil war, which question the rehabilitation of combatants.

Keywords: Civil war, trust game, dictator game, market institution, experimental methods

JEL Classification: C93, D03, P30, O53

Suggested Citation

Cassar, Alessandra and Grosjean, Pauline A. and Whitt, Sam, Social Cooperation and the Problem of the Conflict Gap: Survey and Experimental Evidence from Post-War Tajikistan (October 7, 2011). UNSW Australian School of Business Research Paper No. 2011ECON15, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1980411 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1980411

Alessandra Cassar

University of San Francisco - Department of Economics ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
United States

Pauline A. Grosjean (Contact Author)

UNSW Business School, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Sam Whitt

High Point University - Department of Political Science ( email )

833 Montlieu Avenue
High Point, NC 27262
United States

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