Enrique Fatas

  Martes, 21 de Marzo de 2017

  12:00 - 13:00

   Santiago CESS, Concha y Toro 32C, Santiago

   Violent Conflict and Political Inclusion: the Value of Political Rights Among Victims and Non-Victims of Conflict in Colombia


The experience of conflict generates a wide variety of effects in human behavior. A collective memory of violence may facilitate the perpetuation of conflict through aggressive in-group favoritism and a sense of duty for retaliation. Individual exposure to violent conflict may distort individual preferences by exacerbating risk loving attitudes and impatience. On a more positive side, the experience of conflict may also increase individuals’ egalitarian motivations toward others, and may trigger a sense of moral obligation and solidarity toward other victims. In this paper, we study how conflict shape preferences for the political inclusion of other individuals. In a lab-in-the-field experiment in Colombia, we measure how individual and family exposure to conflict change the value individuals assign to their own political rights and the political rights of others. Participants are asked to choose the rules governing a collective decision, and then use these rules to make a substantial donation to one of two well-known, and politically distant, local charities. We elicit their willingness to pay for three political rights used to design the ballots used to make the donations: freedom of expression (including a short message in the ballot), choice (making their preferred charity eligible for the donation), and vote (buying voting rights). Our within-subjects design controls for the level of exogenous (distance between local charities, high or low) and endogenous polarization (unanimity, majority or minority teams, depending on how individual preferences are aligned with the preferences of others). The between-subjects’ manipulation compares how much individuals are willing to pay for their own political rights (in Treatment 1) or the political rights of other team members (in Treatment 2). Our results strongly suggest that participants show a well-ordered preference between political rights, polarization, and group composition. While exposure to conflict does not change participants’ value for their own political rights, it does significantly increase their willingness to pay for the political rights of others, boosting political inclusion at the team level. The magnitude of the difference is larger for high levels of polarization (exogenous or endogenous), and the results are robust to different specifications and controls.