I am interested in the determinants of aggression and political violence. My current projects use field experiments to understand how employment and behavioral interventions reduce poverty and social instability.
Several projects work with potentially unstable youth populations in post-conflict nations–ex-combatants, petty criminals, street youth, and refugees–to explore and build theory on the links between youth poverty, social stability, and violence.
- Street youth rehabilitation and behavior modification (ongoing). An experimental attempt to modify time preferences and other behaviors to increase incomes and reduce drug abuse and violence.
- Ex-combatant reintegration (completed). Evaluating a program to turn illicit diamond miners and rubber-tappers into productive farmers and community members.
- Post-war civic education and conflict resolution: Does it work? (completed). Can information and education campaigns encouraging tolerance, strengthen non-violent conflict resolution, and increase understanding of human rights?
- Community Micro-level conflict mapping and forecasting (completed). Tracking land, ethnic, crimial and domestic conflict across 5000 households in 250 of Liberia’s most conflict-prone villages.
- Can employment programs reduce poverty and social instability? (ongoing). Evaluating the impacts of a government cash transfer program for vocational training in post-conflict Uganda. on incomes, employment, and social stability
- Micro-enterprises for internally-displaced women (ongoing). Understanding the determinants of micro-entrepreneurship among war-affected women, and the connection from incomes and employment to child health and education, psychosocial health, and community/political participation.
- More sweatshops for Africa? (ongoing) A randomized evaluation of industrial jobs for unskilled workers.
- The Survey of War Affected Youth (SWAY) (completed). Exploring the causes and consequences of child soldiering and forced recruitment via a 10-year tracking survey of more than 1,300 youth in Uganda.
- Commodities, long-term development and political instability (completed). Exploring the links between commodity dependence, price shocks, growth and political instability.