Date of Graduation

Summer 5-21-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Prof Alessandra Cassar


: Although half of all nations in the world have experienced armed conflict in the last 50 years, there is still a glaring lack of evidence on the persistent human costs of these conflicts. We exploit the quasi-random variation in abduction (Blattman and Annan 2009) and establish a control (neighboring) sub-county based on the intensity of exposure by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda to investigate the long-term impact of trauma exposure on competitiveness and generosity. We do this by conducting lab-in-field experiments on a sample of adult North Ugandan women and find that trauma exposure reduces competitiveness in severely raided villages, but within these villages, it is the former LRA abductees who are more competitive than their non-abducted counterparts, regardless of their polygyny status (p<0.05). We also find that our entire sample is the most altruistic towards former combatants (p<0.01), but former combatants give the least. We suspect one reason for this is their high material scarcity.

Available for download on Saturday, September 05, 2026

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