Entrepreneurial Activity and Civil War in Colombia
Exploring the Mutual Determinants between Armed Conflict and the Private Sector
As elsewhere, the Colombian private sector has been accused of promoting or profiting from violence in the country. However, the private sector’s role in the armed conflict and the impact of conflict on entrepreneurial activity vary, as reflected by differences in political activism, in peacebuilding strategies and in costs endured according to company size, sector, and region of operations. At the same time, accounts of regional variation in conflict intensity suggest that an understanding of the Colombian confrontation requires a subnational approach. This paper explores whether and how differences in regional armed conflict can be attributed to differences in entrepreneurial make-up and activity associated with five natural resources, produced in different regions (oil, coffee, bananas, emeralds, and flowers). This paper suggests that company-specific traits, institutions of production, and the nature of international markets have a significant impact on the link between entrepreneurial activity and armed conflict in Colombian regions.