IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Migration, violence and welfare programmes in rural Colombia


  • Alice Mesnard

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and City University London)


This paper studies migration decisions of very poor households in an environment with a high level of violence. By matching detailed retrospective data on violence levels in Colombian rural municipalities with a household survey collected for the evaluation of the "Familias en Acción" welfare programme, the empirical analysis takes into account possible selection problems of the sample and the key issue of endogeneity of violence. The main results show that high levels of violence encourage households to leave their municipality of residence but that welfare programmes may mitigate these flows, provided that the incidence of violence is not unduly high. This is consistent with the fact that the households under study are liquidity constrained: when violence is high, cash transfers may enable them to leave their municipality of residence, whereas, in more normal circumstances, receiving cash transfers increases the benefits to stay where they are registered. Further evidence using household shocks and wealth confirm that liquidity constraints play a large role in explaining such heterogeneous impacts of the programme along violence levels. Other important determinants of migration are the type of property rights and the health insurance rural households can benefit from.

Suggested Citation

  • Alice Mesnard, 2009. "Migration, violence and welfare programmes in rural Colombia," IFS Working Papers W09/19, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:09/19

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Guido Friebel & Juan Gallego & Mariapia Mendola, 2013. "Xenophobic attacks, migration intentions, and networks: evidence from the South of Africa," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 555-591, April.
    2. Carlos Bozzoli & Tilman Brueck & Tony Muhumuza, 2016. "Activity Choices Of Internally Displaced Persons And Returnees: Quantitative Survey Evidence From Post-War Northern Uganda," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 329-347, October.
    3. Fitzsimons, Emla & Mesnard, Alice, 2012. "How children’s schooling and work is affected when their father leaves permanently: Evidence from Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers 8886, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item


    migration; welfare programme; violence; displacement; Colombia;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:09/19. 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: (Emma Hyman). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.