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The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam

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  • Edward Miguel
  • Gerard Roland

Abstract

We investigate the impact of U.S. bombing on later economic development in Vietnam. The Vietnam War featured the most intense bombing campaign in military history and had massive humanitarian costs. We use a unique U.S. military dataset containing bombing intensity at the district level (N=584). We compare the heavily bombed districts to other districts controlling for baseline demographic characteristics and district geographic factors, and use an instrumental variable approach exploiting distance to the 17th parallel demilitarized zone. U.S. bombing does not have a robust negative impact on poverty rates, consumption levels, infrastructure, literacy or population density through 2002. This finding suggests that local recovery from war damage can be rapid under certain conditions, although further work is needed to establish the generality of the finding in other settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward Miguel & Gerard Roland, 2006. "The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam," NBER Working Papers 11954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11954
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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