Working Paper
Conflict and development

Recent research advances and future agendas

We survey selected parts of the growing literature on the microeconomics of violent conflict, identifying where academic research has started to establish stylized facts and where methodological and knowledge gaps remain. We focus our review on the role of civilian agency in conflict; on wartime institutions; and on the private sector in conflict.

Future research requires new and better sources of data on conflict and conflict impacts, including from household surveys in conflict-affected areas. Impact evaluations can also be valuable sources of insights about how conflict impacts on people and how peacebuilding and reconstruction can be improved.

We also see the need for much more detailed studies on the long-term impacts of conflict; on the linkages between agriculture, food security, and conflict; on the role of technology for peace; and on the micro–macro linkages of conflict, as well its macroeconomic costs. Finally, future research would benefit from linking analysis of large-scale violent conflict with other forms of violence, instability, fragility, and humanitarian crises.