Violent Conflict and Inequality

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 09.12.2008, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Tilman Brück (ISDC - International Security and Development Center)


This paper analyzes the distributive impacts of violent conflicts. We use cross-country panel data for the time period 1960-2004 to estimate war-related changes in income inequality. Rather than investigating the specific effect of each conflict, this macro approach allows to assess the average distributional effect of violent conflicts. Our results indicate rising levels of inequality during war and especially in the early period of postwar reconstruction. Lagged distributive effects of conflict, for example through the impact of war on human capital formation and public health, as well as subsequent adjustments of redistributive policies in the period of post-war reconstruction seem to be valid explanations for these patterns of inequality in the course of war. A series of alternative specifications confirms the main findings of the analysis.

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