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Landmines, Poverty and Recovery: Instrumental Variables Evidence from Mozambique

Author

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  • Ouarda Merrouche

    (Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

Abstract

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines production and use estimates that there are more than 80 billion landmines in the ground in more than 80 countries. Despite the scale of the problem and large investments by OECD countries to clear mines in low income countries, the economic consequences of landmine contamination have been so far unexamined by economists working on the economics of wars, perhaps due to the lack of data thus far. This paper exploits a unique dataset on landmine contamination intensity covering 126 Mozambican districts. Because landmines (unlike other weapons) are used as a weapon of choice to protect territories, the empirical strategy uses an indicator of distance to strategic borders as an instrumental variable to correct for selection in landmine placement. Instrumental variables estimates indicate a large effect of landmine contamination on poverty and consumption several years after the ceasefire. Hence, despite the very high cost to clear a mine a conservative costbenefit evaluation of the national demining program indicates that the program generates a large positive return.

Suggested Citation

  • Ouarda Merrouche, 2007. "Landmines, Poverty and Recovery: Instrumental Variables Evidence from Mozambique," Working Papers 200709, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200709
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/GearyWp200709.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1988. "Migration selectivity and the effects of public programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 265-289, December.
    2. Massimo Guidolin & Eliana La Ferrara, 2007. "Diamonds Are Forever, Wars Are Not: Is Conflict Bad for Private Firms?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1978-1993, December.
    3. Simler, Kenneth R. & Nhate, Virgulino, 2005. "Poverty, inequality, and geographic targeting," FCND briefs 192, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Miguel, Edward & Roland, GĂ©rard, 2011. "The long-run impact of bombing Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 1-15, September.
    5. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2001. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case-Control Study for the Basque Country," NBER Working Papers 8478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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