Neil Ferguson, Senior Researcher at ISDC, Eleonora Nillesen, Research Affiliate at ISDC and Professor of Economics at UNU-MERIT, and Tilman Brück, Director of ISDC, have published new research on the relationships between jobs programmes and peace in the journal Economics Letters. The research, titled “Can employment build peace? A pseudo-meta-analysis of employment programmes in Africa” critically evaluates the impact of large employment programmes on peace- and stability-related indicators in five fragile African countries. Results show that such programmes appear to send positive signals to the communities they target. Individuals in all five countries reported reduced fears of being victimised by crime compared to reference individuals living in communities that were not targeted with programming, for example. However, other indicators, such as trust in government, appear to worsen as a result, suggesting both positive and negative externalities can arise. Perhaps more importantly, the research shows that “employment for peace” programmes do not take place in the within-country regions with the worst observable stability indicators, calling into question the motives of programme administrators.
In the last 15 years, civil conflict has gradually become an important subject of study for empirical economists. As a result, conflict research has adopted many empirical methods from mainstream economics. Furthermore, there is now a broad consensus that violent political conflict and economic development are intertwined, and a fast-growing literature studies this relationship with micro-data. At the same time, applied research on conflict is increasingly embracing new empirical methods, such as RCTs, geospatial analysis using high-resolution satellite imagery, machine learning methods, big data applications, and the large-scale digitization of archival resources. Each of these research tools has strengths and limitations and is the subject of ongoing methodological debates.
A new study by J. Puri, A. Aladysheva, V. Iversen, Y. Ghorpade and T. Brück has been published in Journal of Development Effectiveness under the title “Can rigorous impact evaluations improve humanitarian assistance?”. The article reflects on the challenges of rigorous impact evaluations of humanitarian assistance. The authors find that theory-based impact evaluations can crucially inform humanitarian […]
Calculating the impact of different societal challenges, such as climate change, HIV/AIDS or cancer, uncovers the scale, distribution and structure of their economic burdens. Since violent conflict affects billions of people worldwide, the analysis of its impact is important. Using an integrated economic model accounting for multiple forms of conflict, the study finds that in the […]