2. “International Peacekeeping and Micro-foundations for Positive Peace” (with Sam Whitt), Forthcoming, Journal of Conflict Resolution
3. “Social Norms after Conflict Exposure and Victimization by Violence” (with Sam Whitt), 2016, British Journal of Political Science , pp. 1–17.
5. “Unintended media effects in a conflict environment: Serbian radio and Croatian nationalism” with Stefano DellaVigna, Ruben Enikolopov, Maria Petrova, and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, American Economic Journals: Applied Economics; 6(3): 103132; [Online Appendix]
6. A History of Violence: Field Evidence on Trauma, Discounting and Present Bias” (with Alex Imas and Michael Kuhn), under review
The extent to which an individual discounts the future and whether they discount in a time-consistent fashion is an important determinant of their life outcome. Using a novel study design in a field experiment in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we show that direct exposure to violence substantially increases present bias. We also demonstrate that providing individuals with a delay between information about the choice and the choice itself mitigates the differences in behavior between those who were exposed to violence and those who were not. Our findings suggest that enforcing a cooling off period between income notification and consumption opportunities may help generate more patient choices and mitigate the elevated impulsivity of individuals that have experienced violence. We measure our treatment effects both in reduced-form as well as in the form of structural estimates of a quasi-hyperbolic discounting function to enable comparison with measures of other types of time inconsistency and a welfare evaluation of the treatment effect. Our results have implications for policy aimed at alleviating the deleterious effects of present bias and the role of deliberation in the structure of commitment contracts.
7. “Minority Status and Investment: Evidence from Natural and Lab Experiments in Bosnia and Herzegovina” (with Alex Imas and Yegor Lazarev), under review
This study explores how minority status influences individual decisions about investment in a post-conflict society. The study is based on multiple sources of evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina. First, we exploit an exogenous imposition of minority and majority positions by an as-if random adjustment of an administrative boundary and analyze household and business surveys. Second, we run a “lab-in-the field” experiment. The analysis shows that both actual and experimentally induced minority statuses are associated with lower levels of investment. Evidence suggests the perception of discrimination by the government, and not actual discrimination, as the plausible cause of such behavior. Several implications follow: emergence and persistence of segregated ethnic businesses, underinvestment and a basis for horizontal inter-group inequality that could increase the probability of a conflict.