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Conflict displacement and labor market outcomes in post-war Bosnia & Herzegovina

  • Florence Kondylis

    ()

    (Columbia University)

The 1992/95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) drove about 1.3 Million people into displacement (UNHCR). This study uses a longitudinal data source to document the nature of individual selection into conflict-induced displacement and the effects of displacement on labor market outcomes for Bosnians in post-war BiH. To account for endogeneity in the displacement status, I exploit the fact that the level of violence in the pre-war residence likely affected the displacement decision for Bosnians and yet is not associated to economic performance. I find evidence of positive selection into displacement, i.e. more "able" individuals in terms of labor market outcomes are more likely to be displaced, and that displaced Bosnian men and women are less likely to be in work relative to stayers. Interestingly, whereas worklessness translates into higher unemployment for men, it decreases the women’s participation with no effect on unemployment once selection is accounted for. The informality of the labor market in BiH and the destruction of networks are not only the most plausible candidates to explain the negative effect of displacement on labor market performance, but also help rationalise the lack of an effect on participation for displaced men.

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Paper provided by Households in Conflict Network in its series HiCN Working Papers with number 45.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:45
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.hicn.org

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  1. World Bank, 2005. "Bosnia and Herzegovina : Country Economic Memorandum," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8676, The World Bank.
  2. Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Density, social networks and job search methods: Theory and application to Egypt," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 443-473, December.
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  8. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Paper Series 2000:21, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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