Decision Making in Fragile Settings
von Tatiana Orozco Garcia
Datum der mündl. Prüfung:2023-07-03
Betreuer:Prof. Dr. Marcela Ibanez
Gutachter:Prof. Dr. Andreas Fuchs
Gutachter:Prof. Dr. Jann Lay
EnglischThis dissertation presents three independent studies investigating decision-making in fragile settings. Researchers and policymakers have recognized fighting conflict and fragility as a key strategy in the fight against extreme poverty and to promote development. The main reason for that is that if a state, system, or community is vulnerable to risks and is incapable of managing them, this can have far-reaching consequences, from affecting economic performance and household activities and relations and serve as a catalyst for social division increasing conflict and hindering development. Recognizing fragility as a complex concept and interconnected with many different factors, this dissertation advances the discussion on the behavioral responses of agents in contexts of fragility, particularly in the aftermath of conflict and characterized by gender disparities. The second chapter examines individuals' preferences for decision rights in a rural context. We begin by examining whether men and women assign different intrinsic values to decision-making using charitable donations. A lab-in-the-field experiment varies the control individuals can exert over the outcome of another person in the couple, either a stranger or their spouse. We then asked participants if they were willing to pay to keep control over the donation decision rather than accept their partner’s decision. To disentangle the preferences for freedom, power, and non-interference, we ask for the willingness to pay when varying the control individuals exert over the other person’s outcome. We find support for our hypothesis that women and men have different motivations for the intrinsic value of decision rights. However, we find that while women are significantly less willing to retain decision rights than their husbands, men strongly prefer freedom, particularly when matched with their spouses. Men prefer to decide their own outcome. The third chapter investigates individuals’ preferences and discriminatory behavior against ex-combatants during peacebuilding. We investigate how information about ex-combatant identity affects and changes individuals’ discriminatory preferences. Chapter 3 presents the results of an online experiment that involved a real purchase decision. We asked the participants in our experiment about their willingness to pay (WTP) for coffee produced by ex-combatants in six different scenarios that vary the probability of receiving coffee from ex-combatants. According to our findings, the WTP for ex-combatants’ coffee is, on average, lower than the WTP for coffee from two different farmer cooperatives in the placebo group. Moreover, participants reduce their WTP as the probability of receiving coffee from ex-combatants’ cooperatives increase. Additionally, we find that attitudes of distrust towards ex-combatants are correlated with negative discriminatory preferences. Last, we asked individuals about their WTP in a scenario where they could avoid knowing the identity of the coffee producer. When we compare the WTP before and after information treatment, we expect individuals to engage in moral wiggle room by paying a significantly different amount after avoiding the information. We find evidence that individuals disregard negative discriminatory preferences and avoid feeling guilty about questionable behavior. The fourth chapter examines the decision-making process of governments and rebels after a conflict has ended and its implications for sustainable peace. We examine how disarmament decisions made by rebels and the implementation of peace agreement promises can impact conflict reemergence. We argue that rebels and the government find themselves in a classical moral hazard dilemma, where governments would be incentivized to shrink the implementation of the promised concessions with little fear of retaliation after the rebels disarm. In addition, we analyze the role of third parties in reducing moral hazard and promoting stable peace. Chapter 4 starts with a theoretical conceptualization of this moral hazard problem. We solve the theoretical model analytically and empirically test our hypothesis. We use a sample of 51 government-rebel dyads that signed a peace agreement between 1991 and 2004. The analysis relies on the post-double-selection LASSO (PDSL) model. Our results do not support the existence of moral hazard. However, we find suggestive evidence that third parties, particularly aid, can play an important role in reducing government under-implementation.
Keywords: intrinsic value; gender; women; discrimination; information avoidance; peacebuilding