An Economic Profile of Peasant Perpetrators of Genocide: Micro-level Evidence from Rwanda

Year: 2004 HiCN Working Paper No. 008

This paper presents the results of a research project in which we have traced 350 Rwandan households who were part of a rural household survey before the Rwandan genocide (1994). Economic, demographic and agricultural data from an extensive 1989- 1992 survey can be linked with the condition of the household at the time of the Genocide Transition Survey (2000). This allows us to study the fate of the household members during the genocide. Our results show that age, sex, the sex of the head of the household, the size of rented land, personal off-farm income, gross household income and farm-level anti-erosion investment significantly determine the probability of a household member to become a perpetrator of genocide. These results are interpreted in the political economy of Rwanda.