Poverty Dynamics, Violent Conflict, and Convergence in Rwanda
25 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2013
Date Written: March 2013
This paper analyzes the poverty impact of the violent events that affected Rwanda in the 1990s. The main objective of the paper is to identify systematically potential mechanisms linking violent conflict with changes in poverty across provinces and households in Rwanda before and after a decade of violence. In accordance with emerging literature on the long‐term economic effects of violent conflict, we find empirical evidence for economic convergence between richer and poorer Rwandan provinces and households following the conflict shocks. 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. We do not find much evidence for an economic effect of violent deaths at the household level due to substitution effects of labor within the household. Non‐violent deaths however seem to increase income per adult equivalent for the survivors. Results are shown to be robust to sample selection and IV models.
Keywords: conflict, convergence, growth, poverty dynamics, Rwanda
JEL Classification: I32, O12, O55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation