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Business as unusual. An explanation of the increase of private economic activity in high-conflict areas in Afghanistan

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  • Ciarli, Tommaso
  • Kofol, Chiara
  • Menon, Carlo

Abstract

In this paper we use a unique dataset that combines spatial detailed information on conflict events and on households' activity, to show a positive and significant correlation between violent conflict and entrepreneurship in Afghanistan. We build spatial and IV identifications to estimate the effect of different measures of conflict on the investment in a range of private economic activities of nearby households. The results consistently show that the level of conflict, its impact, and to a lesser extent its frequency, increase the probability that a household engages in self-employment activities with lower capital intensity and in activities related to subsistence agriculture, and reduce the probability of investing in higher capital self-employment. Overall, by increasing entrepreneurship, conflict pushes the country towards a regressive structural change. However, the magnitude of most of the effects is quite small. The paper contributes to a literature that, due to data constraints and identification issues, has not yet delivered conclusive evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Ciarli, Tommaso & Kofol, Chiara & Menon, Carlo, 2015. "Business as unusual. An explanation of the increase of private economic activity in high-conflict areas in Afghanistan," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65015, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:65015
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    Cited by:

    1. Philip Barrett, 2018. "The Fiscal Cost of Conflict: Evidence from Afghanistan 2005-2016," IMF Working Papers 18/204, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Galdo,Virgilio & Lopez-Acevedo,Gladys C. & Rama,Martin G., 2020. "Conflict and the Composition of Economic Activity in Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9188, The World Bank.
    3. Floreani,Vincent Arthur & Lopez-Acevedo,Gladys C. & Rama,Martin G., 2016. "Conflict and Poverty in Afghanistan's Transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7864, The World Bank.
    4. Kofol, Chiara & Ciarli, Tommaso, 2017. "Child Labor and Conflict: Evidence from Afghanistan," Discussion Papers 260275, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    violent conflict; entrepreneurship; development;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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