Many large-scale agricultural investments (LSAIs) are located in direct proximity to settlements. LSAIs affect the availability and distribution of income and land. While land becoming scarcer may affect livelihoods negatively (e.g. by decreasing nutritional security), employment opportunities that have not existed prior to the investment may arise, constituting a positive shock. In these processes, it has been shown that decision-makers relatively favor specific (groups of) individuals, i.e. those with a specific ethnicity over others. This process can generate changed levels of village-level inequality in employment opportunities, assets and access to land across identity groups. These “horizontal inequalities” are particularly prone to social conflict. In this paper, we experimentally investigate how an external shock affecting the distribution of income and resources, here a LSAI, changes levels of social conflict. We conduct household surveys and “joy-of-destruction” experiments with about 1,800 inhabitants from villages that are affected or not affected from palm oil plantations in rural Liberia. Participants can destroy money of other participants who (1) belong to the chief's ethnic group, or (2) do not belong to the chief's ethnic group.