The determinants of hosting internally displaced persons: evidence from Eastern Congo

Nik Stoop 

Tens of millions of individuals are displaced due to violence. Many of them are hosted by other households. We set out to establish which factors best explain the decision to host IDPs in the context of displacement in South Kivu, DRC. We collected detailed data from 1,504 households in 15 villages. Given that hosting has components of cooperative behavior and altruistic giving we take into account factors that have been found to predict each of these behaviors. We consider ethnicity, strategic benefits from hosting, proximity to authority figures, wealth, morality, exposure to violence and empathy as potential determinants of the decision to host. Within the survey we further embedded a field experiment designed to assess the effectiveness of different triggers of hosting. The respondents were randomly assigned to three treatments – perspective-taking, religious appeal, and authority appeal – and a control condition. In the ten months following the survey, we recorded who started hosting incoming IDPs.