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Rural Windfall or a New Resource Curse? Coca, Income, and Civil Conflict in Colombia

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua D. Angrist

    (MIT and NBER)

  • Adriana D. Kugler

    (University of Houston, NBER, CEPR, and IZA)

Abstract

We study the consequences of an exogenous upsurge in coca prices and cultivation in Colombia, where most coca leaf is now harvested. This shift generated only modest economic gains in rural areas, primarily in the form of increased self-employment earnings and increased labor supply by teenage boys. The rural areas that saw accelerated coca production subsequently became considerably more violent, while urban areas were affected little. These findings are consistent with the view that the Colombian civil conflict is fueled by the financial opportunities that coca provides and that rent-seeking by combatants limits the economic gains from coca. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua D. Angrist & Adriana D. Kugler, 2008. "Rural Windfall or a New Resource Curse? Coca, Income, and Civil Conflict in Colombia," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 191-215, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:90:y:2008:i:2:p:191-215
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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