The long-term economic legacies of rebel rule in civil war
Micro evidence from Colombia
THIS ARTICLE IS ON EARLY VIEW | A growing literature has documented widespread variation in the extent to which insurgents provide public goods, collect taxes, and regulate civilian conduct. This paper offers what is, to our knowledge, the first study of the long-term economic legacies of rebel governance. This effect is theoretically unclear.
Rebel governance may generate incentives for households to expand production and accumulate resources. However, rebel rule may be too unstable to maintain such incentives. We explore empirically the effect of rebel rule on households’ economic resilience using a longitudinal dataset for Colombia. Results show a positive relation between wartime rebel rule and the ability of households to cope with weather shocks in the post-war period.
Households in regions where armed groups were present but exercised limited or no intervention fare worse. This effect is associated with infrastructure improvement led by armed groups, their intervention in dispute adjudication, and their close interactions with local populations.