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Economic Consequences of Wars: Evidence from Landmine Contamination in Mozambique

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  • Ouarda Merrouche

Abstract

This paper evaluates the economic returns to improved households access to infrastructure, public services and land in the context of a large landmineclearance program in post-war Mozambique. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines production and use estimates that there are more than 80 billion landmines in the ground in more than 80 countries. Despite the scale of the problem and large investments by OECD countries to clear mines in low income countries, the economic consequences of landmine contamination have been so far unexamined by economists working on the economics of wars, perhaps due to the lack of data thus far. The evaluation uses a unique dataset on landmine contamination intensity covering 126 Mozambican districts to evaluate the causal impact of landmine contamination on income and welfare. The method uses a difference-in-difference estimator to correct for selection in landmine placement. I find large and statistically significant effects of landmine contamination on poverty (in level and depth) and consumption per capita. Hence, the cost-benefit analysis indicates that despite the high cost to clear a mine under reasonable assumptions the program generates a positive return.

Suggested Citation

  • Ouarda Merrouche, 2006. "Economic Consequences of Wars: Evidence from Landmine Contamination in Mozambique," Economics Working Papers ECO2006/22, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2006/22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Massimo Guidolin & Eliana La Ferrara, 2007. "Diamonds Are Forever, Wars Are Not: Is Conflict Bad for Private Firms?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1978-1993, December.
    2. Simler, Kenneth R. & Nhate, Virgulino, 2005. "Poverty, inequality, and geographic targeting: Evidence from Small-Area Estimates in Mozambique," FCND discussion papers 192, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2001. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case-Control Study for the Basque Country," NBER Working Papers 8478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ouarda Merrouche, 2011. "The Long Term Educational Cost of War: Evidence from Landmine Contamination in Cambodia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(3), pages 399-416.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    war; poverty; landmines; difference-in-difference estimator; cost-benefit analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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