Large-scale agricultural investments, employment opportunities and communal conflict

Authors: Alexander De Juan, Lisa Hoffmann and Jann Lay
Published: 2022
Source: OSF Preprints

This paper, co-authored by the Land Matrix's Jann Lay from GIGA and using Land Matrix data, investigates whether and how large-scale agricultural investments (LSAIs) influence the risk of communal conflict. The study assessed a mechanism that links LSAIs to conflict through interethnic competition over access to plantation employment, with analyses focusing on rural Liberia. The study measures communal conflict with joy-of-destruction experiments (JDG), investigating associations between access to employment and JDG outcomes—comparing villages that are located below/above a distance threshold at which travel costs to plantations equal daily wages of plantation workers. The study found substantively higher levels of destruction in communities with better access to LSAI employment. The study further analysed whether participants display more destructive behaviour when members of ethnic minorities interact with members of dominant groups and, contrary to expectations, found no variation across interethnic experimental constellations. Exploratory descriptive analyses tentatively suggest a link between LSAIs, labour migration and communal conflict.

Read the full paper here.

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