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Do conflicts create poverty traps? Asset losses and recovery for displaced households in Colombia

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  • Ana María Ibáñez

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Universidad de los Andes)

  • Andrés Moya

    ()
    (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

Abstract

Internal conflicts entail large asset losses for certain segments in the civilian population. Asset losses may compromise the future welfare of households, thus leaving a legacy of structural poverty that is difficult to overcome. The purpose of this article is to analyze how asset losses occur during internal conflicts and the process of asset accumulation following the initial shock. To do this, we concentrate on a particularly vulnerable group of victims of war—the displaced population in Colombia. In achieving our objective, we adopt quantitative and qualitative approaches by: (i) providing a detailed description of losses stemming from forced displacement; (ii) analyzing qualitative evidence so as to understand the asset recovery processes for the displaced population; and (iii) estimating OLS, Instrumental Variable and quartile regressions in order to identify the determinants of asset losses stemming from forced displacement, and asset accumulation following the initial shock. The results indicate that recuperating asset losses or accumulating new assets is a rare event; only 25 percent of households are able to recover their original asset base, while asset ownership still seems insufficient for overcoming poverty. In addition, displaced households do not catch up even as settlement at destination sites consolidates. Therefore, unless a positive intervention is implemented, displaced households become locked in a low income trajectory, and are unlikely to leap forward to a high return asset level.

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File URL: http://www.microconflict.eu/publications/RWP10_AMI_AM.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict in its series Research Working Papers with number 10.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcn:rwpapr:10

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Keywords: Forced migration; civil conflict; asset losses; structural poverty; quantile regressions;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ana María Ibáñez L. & Manuel Fernández & Ximena Peña, 2011. "Adjusting the Labor Supply to Mitigate Violent Shocks: Evidence from Rural Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 009246, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  2. Valentina Calderón & Ana María Ibáñez, 2009. "Labor Market Effects of Migration-Related Supply Shocks: Evidence from Internally Displaced Populations in Colombia," HiCN Working Papers 69, Households in Conflict Network.
  3. 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.
  4. Trani, Jean-François & Cannings, Tim I., 2013. "Child Poverty in an Emergency and Conflict Context: A Multidimensional Profile and an Identification of the Poorest Children in Western Darfur," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 48-70.
  5. Ibáñez, Ana María & Moya, Andrés, 2010. "Vulnerability of Victims of Civil Conflicts: Empirical Evidence for the Displaced Population in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 647-663, April.
  6. María Alejandra Arias & Ana María Ibáñez & Andrés Zambrano, 2014. "Agricultural Production Amid Conflict: The Effects of Shocks, Uncertainty, and Governance of Non-State Armed Actors," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 011005, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  7. Moya, A., 2012. "Violence, Emotional Distress and Induced Changes in Risk Aversion among the Displaced Population in Colombia," Working papers 105, Rimisp Latin American Center for Rural Development.
  8. Juliana Helo, 2011. "Una evaluación de los programas de estabilización para la población desplazada en Colombia - estimación de un modelo estructural," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 008915, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  9. Ingunn Bjørkhaug, 2010. "Child Soldiers in Colombia: The Recruitment of Children into Non-state Violent Armed Groups," Research Working Papers 27, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.

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