Guns and Roses: Flower Exports and Electoral Violence in Kenya

70 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2018 Last revised: 16 Feb 2021

See all articles by Christopher Ksoll

Christopher Ksoll

University of Oxford

Rocco Macchiavello

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Ameet Morjaria

Northwestern University - Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences (MEDS)

Date Written: February 2021

Abstract

Violent conflicts, particularly at election times in Africa, are a common cause of instability and economic disruption. This paper studies how firms react to electoral violence using the case of Kenyan flower exporters during the 2008 post-election violence as an example. Consistent with our theoretical framework, the violence induced a large negative supply shock that reduced exports primarily through workers' absence and had heterogeneous effects: larger firms and those with direct contractual relationships in export markets suffered smaller production and losses of workers. On the demand side, international buyers were not able to shift sourcing to Kenyan exporters located in areas not directly affected by the violence nor to neighboring Ethiopian suppliers during the violence. Consistent with difficulties in insuring against supply-chain risk disruptions caused by electoral violence, firms in direct contractual relationships ramp up shipments just before the subsequent 2013 presidential election to mitigate risk.

Keywords: flowers, exports, elections, electoral violence, Kenya, firms, trade

Suggested Citation

Ksoll, Christopher and Macchiavello, Rocco and Morjaria, Ameet, Guns and Roses: Flower Exports and Electoral Violence in Kenya (February 2021). Global Poverty Research Lab Working Paper No. 17-102, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3126456 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3126456

Christopher Ksoll

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Rocco Macchiavello

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine ( email )

New Road
Oxford, OX1 1NF
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Ameet Morjaria (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences (MEDS) ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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