Poverty Dynamics, Violent Conflict and Convergence in Rwanda

MICROCON Research Working Paper No. 4

62 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2008

See all articles by Patricia Justino

Patricia Justino

University of Sussex - Institute of Development Studies

Philip Verwimp

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management; Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

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Date Written: March 2008

Abstract

Civil war and genocide in the 1990-2000 period in Rwanda - a small, landlocked, densely populated country in Central Africa - have had differential economic impacts on the country's provinces. The reasons for this are the death toll of the genocide, the location of battles, the waves of migration and the local resurgence of war. As a result, the labour/land and labour/capital ratios at the provincial level changed considerably during that period. Using two cross-sections, we find empirical evidence for convergence between provinces following the conflict shocks: previously richer provinces in the east and in the north of the country experienced lower, even negative, economic growth compared to the poorer western and southern provinces. This has in turn affected significantly the dynamics of household poverty in Rwanda in the same period. Using a small but unique panel of households surveyed before and after the conflict period, we find that households whose house was destroyed or who lost land ran a higher risk of falling into poverty. This was particularly the case for households who were land-rich before the genocide. We do not find this for the loss of household labour. In the latter case the effect depends on the violent or non-violent character of the loss.

Keywords: conflict, poverty, Africa, panel data

JEL Classification: C33, I32, O55

Suggested Citation

Justino, Patricia and Verwimp, Philip, Poverty Dynamics, Violent Conflict and Convergence in Rwanda (March 2008). MICROCON Research Working Paper No. 4, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1116610 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1116610

Patricia Justino (Contact Author)

University of Sussex - Institute of Development Studies ( email )

Brighton
Falmer, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 9RE
United Kingdom

Philip Verwimp

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management ( email )

19 Av Franklin Roosevelt
1050
Brussels
Belgium

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

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