The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam

48 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2006 Last revised: 1 Sep 2022

See all articles by Edward Miguel

Edward Miguel

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Gérard Roland

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: January 2006

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Miguel, Edward and Roland, Gérard, The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam (January 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w11954, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=877459

Edward Miguel (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Gérard Roland

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
510-642-4321 (Phone)
510-642-6615 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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