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The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam

  • Edward Miguel
  • Gerard Roland

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11954.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Miguel, Edward & Roland, Gérard, 2011. "The long-run impact of bombing Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 1-15, September.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11954
Note: EFG
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