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The domestic welfare loss of Syrian Civil War: An equivalent income approach

Author

Listed:
  • Harun Onder

    (The World Bank - The World Bank - The World Bank)

  • Pierre Pestieau

    (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12, PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This paper uses an equivalent income approach to quantify the domestic welfare loss due to the Syrian Civil War. Focusing on the (income, life expectancy) space, we show that the equivalent income has fallen by about 60 % in comparison to the pre-conflict level. We also find that the differential between the equivalent income and the standard income for 2016 lies between $75 and $144. Although this low willingness to pay for coming back to pre-conflict survival conditions can be explained by extreme poverty due to the War, the small gap between standard and equivalent incomes tends to question the extra value brought by the latter for the measurement of standards of living in situations of severe poverty. We examine some solutions to that puzzle, including a more general specification of the utility function, the shift from an ex ante approach (valuing changes in life expectancy) to an ex post approach (valuing changes in distributions of realized longevities), as well as considering population ethical aspects. None of those solutions is fully successful in solving the puzzle.

Suggested Citation

  • Harun Onder & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2017. "The domestic welfare loss of Syrian Civil War: An equivalent income approach," PSE Working Papers hal-01581896, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-01581896
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01581896
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Keywords

    Syrian War; conict; mortality; welfare; equivalent income; measurement;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East

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