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The Social Costs of Civil Conflict: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness

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  • Heinz Welsch

Abstract

This paper uses data on stated subjective well-being to capture the intangible costs of civil conflict. By running cross-national regressions with happiness as the dependent variable, and the number of conflict victims and income as explanatory variables, it investigates if and in which way civil conflict affects happiness, and derives the implied monetary equivalent of the unhappiness caused. The paper finds that the number of conflict victims and their change over time significantly affect subjective well-being directly through health and psychic effects as well as indirectly through reduced income. The non-pecuniary effects are found to be larger than the income-related effect. A change over time in the number of victims has a stronger impact on well-being than the current number. There are sizeable monetary equivalents to these effects. Copyright 2008 The Authors.

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  • Heinz Welsch, 2008. "The Social Costs of Civil Conflict: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 320-340, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:61:y:2008:i:2:p:320-340
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, "undated". "Valuing Public Goods: The Life Satisfaction Approach," IEW - Working Papers 184, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heinz Welsch & Philipp Biermann, 2014. "Energy Prices, Energy Poverty, and Well-Being: Evidence for European Countries," Working Papers V-369-14, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2014.
    2. Luiz de Mello & Erwin R. Tiongson, 2009. "What Is the Value of (My and My Family's) Good Health?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 594-610, November.
    3. Ben Bassat Avi & Dahan Momi & Geys Benny & Klor Esteban F., 2012. "The Impact of the Economic Costs of Conflict on Individuals' Political Attitudes," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 1-29, August.
    4. Stefano Costalli & Luigi Moretti & Costantino Pischedda, 2017. "The economic costs of civil war," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 54(1), pages 80-98, January.
    5. Paul Downward & Peter Dawson, 2016. "Is it Pleasure or Health from Leisure that We Benefit from Most? An Analysis of Well-Being Alternatives and Implications for Policy," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 443-465, March.
    6. Welsch, Heinz & Biermann, Philipp, 2014. "Electricity supply preferences in Europe: Evidence from subjective well-being data," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 38-60.
    7. Rehdanz, Katrin & Welsch, Heinz & Narita, Daiju & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2013. "Well-being effects of a major negative externality: The case of Fukushima," Kiel Working Papers 1855, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Sujarwoto Sujarwoto & Gindo Tampubolon, 2015. "Decentralisation and Citizen Happiness: A Multilevel Analysis of Self-rated Happiness in Indonesia," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 455-475, April.
    9. Christopher L. Ambrey & Christopher M. Fleming & Matthew Manning & Christine Smith, 2016. "On the Confluence of Freedom of the Press, Control of Corruption and Societal Welfare," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 859-880, September.
    10. Simona Rasciute & Paul Downward, 2010. "Health or Happiness? What Is the Impact of Physical Activity on the Individual?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 256-270, May.
    11. Paul Dolan & Daniel Fujiwara & Robert Metcalfe, 2011. "A Step towards Valuing Utility the Marginal and Cardinal Way," CEP Discussion Papers dp1062, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    12. Beja Jr., Edsel L., 2011. "Subjective Well-Being Approach to the Valuation of International Development: Evidence for the Millennium Development Goals," MPRA Paper 27865, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Coupe, Tom & Obrizan, Maksym, 2016. "The impact of war on happiness: The case of Ukraine," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 228-242.
    14. Liliana Winkelmann & Rainer Winkelmann, 2010. "Does Inequality Harm the Middle Class?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 301-316, May.
    15. Edsel Beja Jr., 2013. "Subjective Well-Being Approach to the Valuation of International Development: Evidence for the Millennium Development Goals," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 141-159, March.
    16. Christian Pfeifer, 2013. "Life satisfaction and the consumption values of partners and friends: Empirical evidence from German panel survey data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 3131-3142.
    17. Daniel Oto-Peralías, 2015. "The Long-term Effects of Political Violence on Political Attitudes: Evidence from the Spanish Civil War," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 412-442, August.
    18. Rehdanz, Katrin & Welsch, Heinz & Narita, Daiju & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2015. "Well-being effects of a major natural disaster: The case of Fukushima," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 500-517.
    19. Welsch, Heinz, 2009. "Implications of happiness research for environmental economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 2735-2742, September.

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