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Civil conflict in developing countries over the last quarter of a century: An empirical overview of economic and social consequences

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  • Frances Stewart
  • Frank Humphreys
  • Nick Lea

Abstract

There is a growing number of wars in developing countries and they are∼ concentrated among the least developed countries. This paper explores their economic and social consequences by examining the behaviour of countries worst affected by war from 1970 to 1990. Despite problems about methodology and data some important conclusions emerge. There were invariably large economic and social costs in addition to the direct battle deaths, although the effects varied according to the nature and duration of the conflict and the state of the economy. The costs are indicated by losses in GDP, exports and food production per capita compared with what might have been expected in the absence of conflict. In most cases, trends in infant mortality rates were significantly worse in war-affected than comparable economies. The extent of these losses varied, however, while other effects, such as on savings and investment propensities, government revenue shares and expenditure on social services, differed sharply among economies in conflict, reflecting differences in conditions, in government and donor policy and civil and private initiatives.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 25 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 11-41

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:25:y:1997:i:1:p:11-41

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Cited by:
  1. David Pottebaum & Ravi Kanbur, 2004. "Civil war, public goods and the social wealth of nations," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 459-484.
  2. Mujawamariya, Gaudiose & Karimov, Aziz A., 2014. "Importance of socio-economic factors in the collection of NTFPs: The case of gum arabic in Kenya," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 24-29.
  3. Gates, Scott & Hegre, Håvard & Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv & Strand, Håvard, 2012. "Development Consequences of Armed Conflict," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1713-1722.
  4. World Bank, 2002. "Sri Lanka : Poverty Assessment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15387, The World Bank.
  5. Belshaw, Deryke & Lawrence, Peter & Hubbard, Michael, 1999. "Agricultural Tradables and Economic Recovery in Uganda: The Limitations of Structural Adjustment in Practice," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 673-690, April.
  6. Wayne Nafziger, E. & Auvinen, Juha, 2002. "Economic Development, Inequality, War, and State Violence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 153-163, February.
  7. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2008. "Why are ethnically divided countries poor?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-18, March.
  8. Carly Petracco & Helena Schweiger, 2012. "The impact of armed conflict on firms’ performance and perceptions," Working Papers 152, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  9. Rodgers, Yana Van der Meulen & Cooley, Jane C., 1999. "Outstanding Female Economists in the Analysis and Practice of Development Economics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1397-1411, August.

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