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Is conflict additional structural obstacle for Least Developed Countries?


  • Kim, Namsuk
  • Sauter, Melanie


Conflict is highly interlinked with low development, and thus imposes huge development challenges for least developed countries. However, it remains unclear whether conflict is a result of bad policy or a structural impediment to growth which is the main characteristic of the least developed countries. We examine the differences between conflict and peaceful least developed countries, and show that some of the least developed country indicators, particularly those related to human assets, are clearly linked with the conflict indicators. Analysis of individual conflict-affected least developed countries reveals that indicators on human assets improve after the peace is restored, while economic vulnerability reaches its peak prior to the conflict outbreak. As additional direct impact of conflict on human capital, an increase in dependency ratios due to conflict has so far not been captured by the indicators determining the least developed countries. We argue that, while the conflict may not be a structural factor, but a high dependency ratio due to conflicts could be a structural obstacle to growth, an additional structural characteristic of conflict-affected least developed countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim, Namsuk & Sauter, Melanie, 2017. "Is conflict additional structural obstacle for Least Developed Countries?," International Journal of Development and Conflict, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, vol. 7(1), pages 32-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:gok:ijdcv1:v:7:y:2017:i:1:p:32-48

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Conflict; Least Developed Countries; Human Asset; Dependency Ratio;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy


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