Civil Conflict and Forced Migration: The Microdeterminants and the Welfare Losses of Displacement in Colombia

40 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2009

See all articles by Ana M. Ibáñez

Ana M. Ibáñez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Carlos Eduardo Vélez

Banco de la República

Date Written: April 2008

Abstract

During the last decade, forced internal displacement in Colombia has been a growing phenomenon closely linked to the escalation of the internal armed conflict, particularly in rural areas. The displacement problem has affected nearly every region and vulnerable groups of the population. Two emerging policy questions are whether the magnitude of the response to this problem has been proportional to its size and to what extent the instruments chosen are the most adequate to address it. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, to identify the determinants of displacement behavior and to compare these findings with standard migration literature. Second, to estimate the burden or welfare losses of displacement. Empirical evidence shows that the welfare loss of displacement is considerable and amount to 37 percent of the net present value of rural lifetime aggregate consumption for the average household. This loss is estimated for each household with a method that derives welfare changes from behavioral model estimates, widely used in environmental economics. Our empirical findings also show that the level of violence at the origin site is not only the dominant factor of displacement behavior, but also that in a violent environment other migration determinants have the opposite effect, relative to the one expected by the migration literature in a non-violent context. That is, the violent environment modifies the migration incentives for risk aversion, access to information, the planning horizon, and location-specific assets, human and non-human.

Keywords: Forced displacement, migration, random utility model, welfare losses.

JEL Classification: C35, D74, I39, R23

Suggested Citation

Ibáñez, Ana María and Vélez, Carlos Eduardo, Civil Conflict and Forced Migration: The Microdeterminants and the Welfare Losses of Displacement in Colombia (April 2008). World Development, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 659-676, April 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1392863

Ana María Ibáñez (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia
571 339 4949 Ext. 3634 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/~economia/html/profesores/profesores.php?modo=mostrar&id=145

Carlos Eduardo Vélez

Banco de la República ( email )

Carrera 7 #14-78
3551 de Bogotá
Colombia
(571) 343 - 0999 (Phone)
(571) 343 - 0999 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.banrep.gov.co/

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