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Do Conflicts Create Poverty Traps? Asset Losses and Recovery for Displaced Households in Colombia

In: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America

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  • Ana María Ibañez
  • Andrés Moya

Abstract

Internal conflicts entail large asset losses for certain segments in the civilian population. Asset losses may compromise the future welfare of households, thus leaving a legacy of structural poverty that is difficult to overcome. The purpose of this article is to analyze how asset losses occur during internal conflicts and the process of asset accumulation following the initial shock. To do this, we concentrate on a particularly vulnerable group of victims of war—the displaced population in Colombia. In achieving our objective, we adopt quantitative and qualitative approaches by: (i) providing a detailed description of losses stemming from forced displacement; (ii) analyzing qualitative evidence so as to understand the asset recovery processes for the displaced population; and (iii) estimating OLS, Instrumental Variable and quartile regressions in order to identify the determinants of asset losses stemming from forced displacement, and asset accumulation following the initial shock. The results indicate that recuperating asset losses or accumulating new assets is a rare event; only 25 percent of households are able to recover their original asset base, while asset ownership still seems insufficient for overcoming poverty. In addition, displaced households do not catch up even as settlement at destination sites consolidates. Therefore, unless a positive intervention is implemented, displaced households become locked in a low income trajectory, and are unlikely to leap forward to a high return asset level.
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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11837
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Juliana Helo, 2011. "Una evaluación de los programas de estabilización para la población desplazada en Colombia - estimación de un modelo estructural," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 008915, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    3. Ana María Ibañez Londoño & Juan Carlos Muñoz Mora & Philip Verwimp, 2013. "Abandoning Coffee under the Threat of Violence and the Presence of Illicit Crops. Evidence from Colombia," HiCN Working Papers 150, Households in Conflict Network.
    4. Valentina Calderón & Ana María Ibáñez, 2009. "Labor Market Effects of Migration-Related Supply Shocks: Evidence from Internally Displaced Populations in Colombia," Research Working Papers 14, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
    5. Ana María Ibáñez L. & Manuel Fernández & Ximena Peña, 2011. "Adjusting the Labor Supply to Mitigate Violent Shocks: Evidence from Rural Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 009246, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    6. Ingunn Bjørkhaug, 2010. "Child Soldiers in Colombia: The Recruitment of Children into Non-state Violent Armed Groups," Research Working Papers 27, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
    7. 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.
    8. Ibáñez, Ana María & Moya, Andrés, 2010. "Vulnerability of Victims of Civil Conflicts: Empirical Evidence for the Displaced Population in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 647-663, April.
    9. Andrés Moya & Michael Carter, 2014. "Violence and the Formation of Hopelessness and Pessimistic Prospects of Upward Mobility in Colombia," NBER Working Papers 20463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Moya, A., 2012. "Violence, Emotional Distress and Induced Changes in Risk Aversion among the Displaced Population in Colombia," Working papers 105, Rimisp Latin American Center for Rural Development.
    11. Manuel Fernández & Ana María Ibáñez & Ximena Peña, 2014. "Adjusting the Labour Supply to Mitigate Violent Shocks: Evidence from Rural Colombia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 1135-1155.
    12. María Alejandra Arias & Ana María Ibáñez & Andres Zambrano, 2017. "Agricultural Production Amid Conflict: Separating the Effects of Conflict into Shocks and Uncertainty," HiCN Working Papers 245, Households in Conflict Network.
    13. Ivlevs, Artjoms & Veliziotis, Michail, 2017. "Beyond Conflict: Long-Term Labour Market Integration of Internally Displaced Persons in Post-Socialist Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 11215, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. 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.
    15. Isabelle Joumard & Juliana Londoño Vélez, 2013. "Income Inequality and Poverty in Colombia - Part 1. The Role of the Labour Market," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1036, OECD Publishing.
    16. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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