Self-employment and Conflict in Colombia
Many Colombians are confronted with the ongoing conflict that influences their decision making in everyday life, including their behavior in labor markets. This study focuses on the impact of violent conflict on self-employment, enlarging the usual determinants with a set of conflict variables. Our estimation strategy compares three different estimates: one from fixed-effects panel data (OLS-FE), estimates using lagged conflict indicators instead of contemporaneous regressors, and instrumental variables (IV-FE) estimates. Our results show that a one standard deviation increase in net displacement rates increases the rate of self-employment by about 7 percent points. Dividing the self-employed into different sectors (services and agriculture), we find that net displacement increases self-employment in the services sector but has no effect in agriculture that is affected by attacks by rebel and paramilitary groups, instead. Looking at the income of self-employed individuals, an influx of displaced reduces sharply hourly income in the self-employment sector.