Local Institutions, Risk and Sharing in the Context of Migration

Date: 19 December 2013

Venue: University of Antwerp - Stadscampus - Building S - Nile Room - Lange Sint-Annastraat 7 (first floor) - 2000 Antwerp

Time: 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Organization / co-organization: IOB

Short description: IOB Seminar - by Peter van der Windt, PhD-candidate in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University, Graduate Fellow at the Earth Institute, Columbia's CSDS and Pre-doctoral Fellow at Wageningen University.

In much of the developing world, households dependent upon sharing within the village to mitigate risk, and local institutions such as the village chief play an important role in daily life. High levels of migration into rural villages is another characteristic of the developing world, and classic literatures suggest that this endangers within-village sharing. Using a set of innovative experiments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this paper explores sharing behaviors between natives and migrants at the village level, and the role of local institutions on such within-village sharing.

Conscious of the risks posed by migrants and to avoid exploitation by local institutions, international actors are another important actor at the village level and often bypass or actively undermine local institutions. Using experimental variation and a downstream experiment, this study finds causal evidence that 1) local institutions are resilient to outside intervention, and that 2) local institutions, and not international actors, are important in sustaining native-migrant sharing.

These results are corroborated by a large survey conducted in over 600 villages throughout Eastern Congo. This study challenges the basis for current international interventions, and provides scarce micro-level evidence for the important role local institutions play in divided society in areas where the state is weak.

Peter van der Windt
Peter van der Windt is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University, and a Graduate Fellow at the Earth Institute, Columbia’s CSDS, and a Pre-doctoral Fellow at Wageningen University. He received his B.Sc. and M.Phil. (cum laude) in Economics at Tilburg University, and his M.A. and M.Phil.

in Political Science at Columbia University. Peter’s research explores the impact, determinants and role of governance structures in areas where the state is weak. His job market paper “Local Governance and Native-Migrant Cooperation” explores the relationship between rural migration and cooperation, in the context of Central Africa.

The paper is based on novel lab-in-the-field experiments, an original survey among 8,199 villagers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and over 18 months of fieldwork in the region. His research design allows for a micro-level investigation of the tension between local institutions that foster native-migrant cooperation and NGO activity that undermines it.

In a different study, he uses a field experiment in over 800 villages in Eastern Congo to learn whether exogenously introduced institutions can foster democratic practices.

In Sierra Leone, Peter conducted a set of original experiments with 750 participants to investigate the importance of social status for cooperation. And in Congo’s South Kivu province he utilized mobile phones to map local events in real time from hard to reach conflict areas. More: www.petervanderwindt.com.

Entrance fee: Free registration

Registration: Compulsary - by e-mail to katleen.vanpellicom@uantwerpen.be

Contact email: katleen.vanpellicom@uantwerpen.be

Contact phone: +32 3 265 52 96