NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Can Employment Reduce Lawlessness and Rebellion? A Field Experiment with High-Risk Men in a Fragile State

Christopher Blattman, Jeannie Annan

NBER Working Paper No. 21289
Issued in June 2015
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Labor Studies, Political Economy

States and aid agencies use employment programs to rehabilitate high-risk men in the belief that peaceful work opportunities will deter them from crime and violence. Rigorous evidence is rare. We experimentally evaluate a program of agricultural training, capital inputs, and counseling for Liberian ex-fighters who were illegally mining or occupying rubber plantations. 14 months after the program ended, men who accepted the program offer increased their farm employment and profits, and shifted work hours away from illicit activities. Men also reduced interest in mercenary work in a nearby war. Finally, some men did not receive their capital inputs but expected a future cash transfer instead, and they reduced illicit and mercenary activities most of all. The evidence suggests that illicit and mercenary labor supply responds to small changes in returns to peaceful work, especially future and ongoing incentives. But the impacts of training alone, without capital, appear to be low.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21289

Published: CHRISTOPHER BLATTMAN & JEANNIE ANNAN, 2016. "Can Employment Reduce Lawlessness and Rebellion? A Field Experiment with High-Risk Men in a Fragile State," American Political Science Review, vol 110(01), pages 1-17.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Blattman, Jamison, and Sheridan w21204 Reducing crime and violence: Experimental evidence from cognitive behavioral therapy in Liberia
Heller, Shah, Guryan, Ludwig, Mullainathan, and Pollack w21178 Thinking, Fast and Slow? Some Field Experiments to Reduce Crime and Dropout in Chicago
Gelber, Isen, and Kessler w20810 The Effects of Youth Employment: Evidence from New York City Summer Youth Employment Program Lotteries
Wright, Tekin, Topalli, McClellan, Dickinson, and Rosenfeld w19996 Less Cash, Less Crime: Evidence from the Electronic Benefit Transfer Program
Becker Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us