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Reparations for Victims: Lessons from Colombia


  • Arlen Guarin
  • Juliana Londoño-Vélez
  • Christian Posso


Reparations recognize and address the harm that victims suffered during war, conflict, or authoritarianism, and some experts argue that the compensation can also help victims to rebuild life projects. Using linked administrative microdata, we study the world's largest reparations program, currently being implemented in Colombia. First, we provide descriptive evidence on Colombia's conflict victims. Then, we shed light on how reparations' various aims have shaped the program's design and implementation features and on who has received compensation. Last, we discuss the practical challenges and tensions in balancing the various goals of reparations programs under tight fiscal constraints and limited state capacity.

Suggested Citation

  • Arlen Guarin & Juliana Londoño-Vélez & Christian Posso, 2023. "Reparations for Victims: Lessons from Colombia," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 113, pages 342-346, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:apandp:v:113:y:2023:p:342-46
    DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20231018

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    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • K38 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Human Rights Law; Gender Law; Animal Rights Law
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements


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