IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Displacement Due To Violence In Colombia: Determinants And Consequences At The Household Level


  • Kirchhoff, Stefanie
  • Ibanez, Ana Maria


The armed conflict over economic and political power in Colombia has led to the massive displacement of people living in the areas of violence. The design of appropriate policies of prevention, assistance, and resettlement requires improved information on the determinants and effects of displacement. This paper contributes to providing such information by using household survey data collected at expulsory and receptor locations. First, we develop a conceptual framework for analyzing the factors which influence a household's decision to leave its area of origin for an uncertain future or to stay and risk being the victim of violence. Using econometric analysis, the framework is then used to examine the significance and relative importance of the hypothesized factors in the study region. Second, the impacts of displacement on the affected households are examined through a descriptive analysis of the survey data, and a method for estimating the welfare losses of the displaced is presented. The results confirm the significant role of violence and perceptions of insecurity in motivating displacement. The analysis indicates that land owners, members of local organizations, and younger household heads face the highest risk of becoming the direct target of threats which appear to be the most important trigger of displacement. However, security considerations do not appear to be the only factors underlying the displacement decision. People decide to stay in their areas of origin despite being affected by violence. A significant percentage of the displaced appear to have reflected on their options and on the expected impacts of displacement. Considerations regarding the cost of leaving behind important assets and potential improvements in living conditions after displacement appear to impact the decision. The results also point to the important role of information in displacement decisions. The descriptive analysis highlights the impacts of displacement on the affected households. The wide majority of the displaced had lived in the areas of origin for a very substantial amount of time. For many, displacement implies the loss of agricultural land and the associated way of life. At the receptor locations, households - particularly those from rural areas - have to look for types of employment they are not trained for. A very substantial proportion ends up being long-term unemployed. The surveys point to the need for programs which provide long-term opportunities to the displaced. The paper concludes with policy recommendations and topics for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirchhoff, Stefanie & Ibanez, Ana Maria, 2002. "Displacement Due To Violence In Colombia: Determinants And Consequences At The Household Level," Discussion Papers 18754, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:18754

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Raffaella Castagnini & Klaus Deininger & Maria A. Gonzalez, 2004. "Comparing land reform and land markets in colombia: impacts on equity and efficiency," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3258, The World Bank.
    2. Andrea P. Velásquez Guijo, 2008. "The formality in property rights: determinant in the military strategy of armed actors," HiCN Working Papers 39, Households in Conflict Network.
    3. 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.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:18754. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.