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Abstract

We use a set of experiments to study the effects of forced military service for a rebel group on social capital. We examine the case of Northern Uganda, where recruits did not selfselect nor were systematically screened by rebels. We find that individual cooperativeness robustly increases with length of soldiering, especially among those who soldiered during early age. Parents of ex-soldiers are aware of the behavioral difference: they trust exsoldiers more and expect them to be more trustworthy. These results suggest that the impact of child soldiering on social capital, in contrast to human capital, is not necessarily detrimental

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