Civil War, Public Goods and the Social Wealth of Nations
This Paper establishes and explores the implications of a somewhat surprising empirical finding. Although civil war adversely affects the performance of social indicators in general, poorer countries lose less, in absolute and relative terms, than richer countries. It is argued that the explanation may lie in the extent to which richer countries have better social (and economic) indicators because of more public goods, and adaptation of economic and social mechanisms to the greater abundance of public goods such as physical infrastructure. Civil war destroys public goods, and therefore damages disproportionately the countries most dependent on them. A further implication of this framework is that the post-conflict rebound in social indicators should be relatively stronger in poorer countries. The data bear out this prediction. Our results should not of course be read as implying that poorer countries need less support to avoid civil war and to cope with its aftermath. Although their losses are less, they start from a lower base; so even small declines severely impact human well being. Properly understood, our results highlight the central role that public goods play in underpinning the social (and economic) wealth of nations
|Date of creation:||Jan 2002|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Aschauer, David Alan, 1989.
"Is public expenditure productive?,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
- Frances Stewart & Frank Humphreys & Nick Lea, 1997. "Civil conflict in developing countries over the last quarter of a century: An empirical overview of economic and social consequences," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 11-41.
- Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999.
"Explaining African Economic Performance,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
- Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
- Kakwani, N., 1993. "Performance in living standards : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 307-336, August.
- William Easterly & Sergio Rebelo, 1993.
"Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation,"
NBER Working Papers
4499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
- Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1994. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," CEPR Discussion Papers 885, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Psacharopoulos, George & Arriagada, Ana Maria, 1989. "The Determinants of Early Age Human Capital Formation: Evidence from Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(4), pages 683-708, July.
- Antonio Estache, 1994. "World Development Report: Infrastructure for Development," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44144, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Hertz, Erica & Hebert, James R. & Landon, Joan, 1994. "Social and environmental factors and life expectancy, infant mortality, and maternal mortality rates: Results of a cross-national comparison," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 105-114, July.
- Frances Stewart, 1993. "War and underdevelopment: Can economic analysis help reduce the costs?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 357-380, 07.
- Peter Kennedy, 2003. "A Guide to Econometrics, 5th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 5, volume 1, number 026261183x, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3124. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.