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Displacement Due to Violence in Colombia: A Household-Level Analysis


  • Stefanie Engel
  • Ana María Ibáñez


Civil wars and ethnic conflicts have resulted in an estimated number of approximately 35 million refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide. Understanding the determinants of forced migration is an important prerequisite for the definition of appropriate policies of prevention, assistance, and relocation. We develop a conceptual framework for the empirical analysis of displacement decisions at the household level. While similarities to conventional migration theories exist, there are also important differences implied by the presence of violent conflict. For example, risk aversion and lack of information may hamper conventional migration but enhance displacement. Factors such as landholdings and social capital at the place of origin may not only reduce displacement in the conventional sense of raising opportunity costs but may also spur displacement indirectly by increasing the household’s likelihood of becoming the victim of direct threats. For the case of Colombia, we conduct an econometric analysis of the determinants of displacement and of direct threats. We conclude with policy recommendations and directions for further research.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefanie Engel & Ana María Ibáñez, 2007. "Displacement Due to Violence in Colombia: A Household-Level Analysis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 335-365.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:55:y:2007:p:335-365 DOI: 10.1086/508712

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Samia Badji, 2017. "Education In Extreme Environments, Does Mother's Education Still Matter?," Working Papers halshs-01468575, HAL.
    3. Valentina Calderón & Ana María Ibáñez, 2005. "Labor Market Effects of Migration-Related Supply Shocks: Evidence from Internally Displaced Populations in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005851, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    4. Timothy J. Hatton, 2017. "Refugees and asylum seekers, the crisis in Europe and the future of policy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(91), pages 447-496.
    5. Ana María Ibá-ez, 2014. "Growth in forced displacement: cross-country, sub-national and household evidence on potential determinants," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 13, pages 350-387 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Ana María Ibañez & Andrés Moya, 2010. "Do Conflicts Create Poverty Traps? Asset Losses and Recovery for Displaced Households in Colombia," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 137-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Maclin, Beth J. & Kelly, Jocelyn T.D. & Perks, Rachel & Vinck, Patrick & Pham, Phuong, 2017. "Moving to the mines: Motivations of men and women for migration to artisanal and small-scale mining sites in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 115-122.
    8. Djajić, Slobodan, 2014. "Asylum seeking and irregular migration," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 83-95.
    9. Hatton, Timothy J. & Moloney, Joe, 2015. "Applications for Asylum in the Developed World: Modelling Asylum Claims by Origin and Destination," CEPR Discussion Papers 10678, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. 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.
    11. Pratikshya Bohra-Mishra & Douglas Massey, 2011. "Individual Decisions to Migrate During Civil Conflict," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 401-424, May.
    12. María Alejandra Arias & Ana María Ibáñez & Andrés Zambrano, 2014. "Agricultural Production Amid Conflict: The Effects of Shocks, Uncertainty, and Governance of Non-State Armed Actors," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 011005, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    13. Mathias Czaika & Krisztina Kis-Katos, 2009. "Civil Conflict and Displacement: Village-Level Determinants of Forced Migration in Aceh," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 46(3), pages 399-418, May.
    14. Edgar Silva Quintero & José Alberto Molina & J. Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal, 2016. "How Forced Displacements Caused by a Violent Conflict Affect Wages in Colombia," Working Papers id:10876, eSocialSciences.
    15. Karol Jan Borowiecki, 2012. "Are composers different? Historical evidence on conflict-induced migration (1816-1997)," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 270-291, August.
    16. Margarita Gáfaro & Ana Maria Ibáñez & Patricia Justino, 2014. "Collective Action and Armed Group Presence in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 011951, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    17. Trani, Jean-François & Cannings, Tim I., 2013. "Child Poverty in an Emergency and Conflict Context: A Multidimensional Profile and an Identification of the Poorest Children in Western Darfur," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 48-70.
    18. 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.
    19. Michael Wyrwich, 2018. "Migration restrictions and long-term regional development: evidence from large-scale expulsions of Germans after World War II," Jena Economic Research Papers 2018-002, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    20. Patricia Justino, 2012. "Nutrition, Governance and Violence: A Framework for the Analysis of Resilience and Vulnerability to Food Insecurity in Contexts of Violent Conflict," HiCN Working Papers 132, Households in Conflict Network.
    21. repec:spr:izamig:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40176-017-0102-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Arias María Alejandra & Ibáñez Ana María & Querubin Pablo, 2014. "The Desire to Return during Civil War: Evidence for Internally Displaced Populations in Colombia," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 209-233, January.
    23. Margarita Gáfaro & Ana Maria Ibáñez & Patricia Justino, 2014. "Local Institutions and Armed Group Presence in Colombia," HiCN Working Papers 178, Households in Conflict Network.
    24. Nathalie Williams & Dirgha Ghimire & William Axinn & Elyse Jennings & Meeta Pradhan, 2012. "A Micro-Level Event-Centered Approach to Investigating Armed Conflict and Population Responses," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(4), pages 1521-1546, November.

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