This paper examines whether differences in individual risk attitudes are related to interpersonal conflict. In more than thirty villages of rural Uganda, we conduct a social survey to document social links between pairs of individuals within a village, and separately elicit individual risk attitudes using an incentivized task. Our findings reveal that the difference in risk attitudes between two individuals is significantly and positively related to the presence of interpersonal conflict between them. This relationship is particularly strong among kin. By contrast, the strength of risk aversion per se is not related to conflict. Further, we conduct simulations that suggest that the relationship cannot be solely explained by diverging attitudes after the severing of social ties as a result of interpersonal conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136–149
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Early online date26 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Decision making under risk
  • Networks
  • Conflicts
  • Development economics
  • Experiment
  • Survey

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