Local Economic Conditions and Participation in the Rwandan Genocide


Year: 2013 HiCN Working Paper No. 160

This paper uses new data on participation to examine how local economic conditions shaped within-country variation in willingness to participate in violentactivities during the Rwandan genocide. It discusses and tests the predictions of three sets of theories about the causes of violence. The data provide strong evidence that higher rates of both unemployment and education among Hutu are associated with increased participation. I find no evidence that the employment or education of the Tutsi population reduce participation rates. I also find suggestive evidence of a positive association between violence and the interaction of Hutu unemploymentand education both at the commune level and at the individual level. These results are consistent with theories of opportunity costs discouraging violence, and they provide additional evidence of a connection between education, unemployment, and violence.

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