News - March 10, 2011

Conflict makes you more sociable

Wageningen PhD student's research on conflict in top American journal.

Maarten Voors, a Development Economics PhD student, had two articles appear last week in the American Economic Review (AER), one of the top economics journals. Only ten Dutch economists have ever had an article published in the AER, and Voors is the first from Wageningen.
Voors is carrying out research in Burundi into how a civil war affects people's social behaviour. Voors: 'We do this by playing games with money that people can keep themselves or share with others. Surprisingly, people who have experienced civil war are more likely to share their money with others in the village. Other studies in Georgia and Nepal support this finding.'
Voors says there is still little known about the effects of a conflict at the micro level. 'We have unique data from 35 villages in Burundi. A conflict often leads to more altruism. That is one reason for the post-traumatic economic growth in various countries. The World Bank is interested in this research.'