S-WoPEc
 
Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
HomeAboutSeriesSubject/JEL codesAdvanced Search
Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics SITE Working Paper Series

No 31:
Preparing for Genocide: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Rwanda

Evelina Bonnier (), Jonas Poulsen (), Thorsten Rogall () and Miri Stryjan ()

Abstract: This paper provides evidence for how an authoritarian state can mobilize civilians to participate in mass violence through a top-down policy. We analyze a Rwandan mandatory community program that required citizens to participate in community work and political meetings every Saturday in the years before the 1994 genocide. We exploit cross-sectional variation in meeting intensity induced by exogenous weather fluctuations, and find that a one standard-deviation increase in the number of rainy Saturdays resulted in a 16 percent lower civilian participation rate in genocide violence. The natural placebo test -- rainfall on all other weekdays -- yields no statistically significant results. Moreover, the result is entirely driven by areas under the control of pro-Hutu parties, and we find evidence that the political elites used the program beyond simple propaganda, bringing civilians together and practicing mobilization. We also present suggestive evidence that in areas with opposition parties in power, the effects turn positive, implying that the meetings there were used to overcome hatred. Our robust findings shed light on the potentially detrimental role of government-ordered community meetings. Its importance derives, at the very least, from the resurgence of similar practices in sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords: Conflict; Rainfall; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D74; N47; (follow links to similar papers)

75 pages, January 13, 2015, Revised November 10, 2016

Before downloading any of the electronic versions below you should read our statement on copyright.
Download GhostScript for viewing Postscript files and the Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.

Full text versions of the paper:

hasite0031.pdf    PDF-file (7.95MB) 
Download Statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Evelina Bonnier ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson () or Helena Lundin ().

Programing by
Design by Joachim Ekebom

Handle: RePEc:hhs:hasite:0031 This page was generated on 2016-12-12 10:37:11