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

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  • Manuel Fernández

    (World Bank, Washington, DC)

  • Ana María Ibáñez

    ()
    (Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia)

  • Ximena

    (Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia)

Abstract

This paper studies the use of labour markets to mitigate the impact of violent shocks on households in rural areas in Colombia. We examine changes in the labour supply from on-farm to off-farm labour as a means of coping with the violent shock and the ensuing redistribution of time within households. We also identify the heterogeneous response by gender. Because the incidence of violent shocks is not exogenous, we use instrumental variables which 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 labour to off-farm activities (i.e., 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 nonagricultural work and formal labour markets. Labour markets are not fully absorbing the additional labour supply. Women in particular are unable to find jobs in formal labour markets and men have increased time dedicated to leisure and household chores. Additional off-farm supply is not fully covering drops in consumption. Our results suggest that in rural Colombia, labour 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 labour markets from collapsing and at supporting the recovery of agricultural production.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Households in Conflict Network in its series HiCN Working Papers with number 103.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:103

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Cited by:
  1. Buvinic, Mayra & Das Gupta, Monica & Casabonne, Ursula & Verwimp, Philip, 2013. "Violent conflict and gender inequality : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6371, The World Bank.
  2. Lemus Natalia, 2014. "Conflict-Induced Poverty: Evidence from Colombia," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 113-142, January.
  3. Patricia Justino & Olga Shemyakina, 2010. "Remittances and Labor Supply in Post-Conflict Tajikistan," HiCN Working Papers 83, Households in Conflict Network.
  4. 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, Universidad de Los Andes, Economics Department 146477, Universidad de Los Andes, Economics Department.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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