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Adjusting the Labor Supply to Mitigate Violent Shocks: Evidence from Rural Colombia

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  • Ana María Ibáñez L.

    ()

  • Manuel Fernández

    ()

  • Ximena Peña

    ()

Abstract

This paper studies the use of labor markets to mitigate the impact of violent shocks on households in rural areas in Colombia. It examines changes in the labor supply from on-farm to off-farm labor as a means of coping with the violent shock and the ensuing redistribution of time within households. It identifies the heterogeneous response by gender. Because the incidence of violent shocks is not exogenous, the analysis uses instrumental variables that capture several dimensions of the cost of exercising terror. As a response to the violent shocks, households decrease the time spent on on-farm work and increase their supply of labor to off-farm activities (non-agricultural ones). Men carry the bulk of the adjustment in the use of time inasmuch as they supply the most hours to off-farm non-agricultural work and formal labor markets. Labor markets do not fully absorb the additional labor supply. Women in particular are unable to find jobs in formal labor markets and men have increased time dedicated to leisure and household chores. Additional off-farm supply does not fully cover the decrease in consumption. The results suggest that in rural Colombia, labor markets are a limited alternative for coping with violent shocks. Thus, policies in conflict-affected countries should go beyond short-term relief and aim at preventing labor markets from collapsing and at supporting the recovery of agricultural production.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE in its series DOCUMENTOS CEDE with number 009246.

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Length: 52
Date of creation: 02 Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:col:000089:009246

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Keywords: Conflict; labor markets; developing economies; instrumental variables;

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Cited by:
  1. Ana María Ibañez Londoño & Juan Carlos Muñoz Mora & Philip Verwimp, 2013. "Abandoning Coffee under the Threat of Violence and the Presence of Illicit Crops. Evidence from Colombia," HiCN Working Papers 150, Households in Conflict Network.
  2. Isabelle Joumard & Juliana Londoño Vélez, 2013. "Income Inequality and Poverty in Colombia - Part 1. The Role of the Labour Market," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1036, OECD Publishing.
  3. Gafaro, Margarita & Ibanez, Ana Maria & Zarruk, David, 2012. "Equidad y eficiencia rural en Colombia: una discusión de políticas para el acceso a la tierra," Documentos CEDE Series 146477, Universidad de Los Andes, Economics Department.
  4. Lemus Natalia, 2014. "Conflict-Induced Poverty: Evidence from Colombia," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 113-142, January.
  5. Mayra Buvinic & Monica Das Gupta & Ursula Casabonne & Philip Verwimp, 2013. "Violent Conflict and Gender Inequality: An Overview," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 110-138, February.
  6. Patricia Justino & Olga Shemyakina, 2010. "Remittances and Labor Supply in Post-Conflict Tajikistan," HiCN Working Papers 83, Households in Conflict Network.

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