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Economic Mobility in Rural Rwanda: A Study of the Effects of War and Genocide at the Household Level

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  • Marijke Verpoorten
  • Lode Berlage

Abstract

We study welfare gains and losses in a sample of 188 rural households in two Rwandan provinces over the time span 1990--2002. Our sample is unique because it covers a period of extreme and widespread violence. Using an economic mobility analysis, we seek to identify the impact of the shocks of the war, the genocide and their aftermath on long-term household welfare. To measure economic mobility between 1990 and 2002, we use both net income per adult equivalent and an asset index. We find that households experiencing the murder or imprisonment of one of their members moved considerably downwards in the income distribution. However, households affected by other war-related shocks such as the number of months taken refuge and the loss of physical capital were not worse off in 2002 compared with other households. Copyright 2007 The author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Marijke Verpoorten & Lode Berlage, 2007. "Economic Mobility in Rural Rwanda: A Study of the Effects of War and Genocide at the Household Level," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(3), pages 349-392, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:16:y:2007:i:3:p:349-392
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jae/ejl042
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    Cited by:

    1. Verpoorten Marijke, 2012. "The Intensity of the Rwandan Genocide: Measures from the Gacaca Records," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26, April.
    2. Tilman Brück & Patricia Justino & Philip Verwimp & Andrew Tedesco & Alexandra Avdeenko, 2013. "Measuring Conflict Exposure in Micro-Level Surveys," HiCN Working Papers 153, Households in Conflict Network.
    3. Serneels , Pieter & Verpoorten , Marijke, 2012. "The impact of armed conflict on economic performance. Evidence from Rwanda," NEPS Working Papers 5/2012, Network of European Peace Scientists.
    4. Tilman Brück & Patricia Justino & Philip Verwimp & Alexandra Avdeenko & Andrew Tedesco, 2016. "Measuring Violent Conflict in Micro-level Surveys: Current Practices and Methodological Challenges," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 31(1), pages 29-58.
    5. Maertens, Miet & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Trade, Standards, and Poverty: Evidence from Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 161-178, January.
    6. Baez, Javier E., 2011. "Civil wars beyond their borders: The human capital and health consequences of hosting refugees," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 391-408, November.
    7. Marijke verpoorten, 2010. "Detecting Hidden Violence: The Spatial Distribution of Excess Mortality in Rwanda," LICOS Discussion Papers 25410, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    8. Marc Rockmore, 2017. "The Cost of Fear: The Welfare Effect of the Risk of Violence in Northern Uganda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(3), pages 650-669.
    9. Patricia Justino & Ivan Cardona & Rebecca Mitchell & Catherine Müller, 2012. "Quantifying the Impact of Women’s Participation in Post-Conflict Economic Recovery," HiCN Working Papers 131, Households in Conflict Network.
    10. Verpoorten, Marijke, 2009. "Household coping in war- and peacetime: Cattle sales in Rwanda, 1991-2001," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 67-86, January.
    11. Verpoorten, Marijke, 2014. "Growth, poverty and inequality in Rwanda: A broad perspective," WIDER Working Paper Series 138, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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