HiCN Working Papers Series


How Peace Saves Lives: Evidence from Colombia

Mounu Prem,  Juan F. Vargas,  Sergio Perilla, and Miguel E. Purroy

The victimization of civilians and combatants during internal conflicts causes large socioeconomic costs. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether peace negotiations can significantly reduce this […]


Landmines: The Local Effects of Demining

Mounu Prem,  Juan F. Vargas,  Miguel E. Purroy

Anti-personnel landmines are one of the main causes of civilian victimization in conflict- affected areas and a significant obstacle for post-war reconstruction. Demining campaigns are […]


The Peace Baby Boom: Evidence from Colombia’s peace agreement with the FARC

Juan F. Vargas,  Mounu Prem,  Elvira Guerra-Cújar Paul Rodríguez-Lesmes

Violent environments are known to affect household fertility choices, demand for health services and health outcomes of newborns. Using administrative data with a difference-in-differences, we […]


The perils of misusing remote sensing data The case of forest cover

Leopoldo Fergusson,  Juan F. Vargas,  Santiago Saavedra

Research on deforestation has grown exponentially due to the availability of satellite-based measures of forest cover. One of the most popular is Global Forest Change […]


The Rise and Persistence of Illegal Crops: Evidence from a Naive Policy Announcement

Mounu Prem,  Juan F. Vargas,  Daniel Mejía

Well-intended policies often have negative unintended consequences if they fail to foresee the different ways in which individuals may respond to the new set of […]


The Human Capital Peace Dividend

Mounu Prem,  Juan F. Vargas,  Olga Namen

While the literature has documented negative effects of conflict on educational outcomes, there is surprisingly very little evidence on the effect of conflict termination on […]


Killing Social Leaders for Territorial Control: The Unintended Consequences of Peace

Mounu Prem,  Juan F. Vargas,  Andrés F. Rivera Dario A. Romero

Incomplete peace agreements may inadvertently increase insecurity if they trigger violent territorial contestation. We study the unintended consequences of the Colombian peace process and find […]


End-of-Conflict Deforestation: Evidence from Colombia’s Peace Agreement

Mounu Prem,  Juan F. Vargas,  Santiago Saavedra

Armed conflict can endanger natural resources through several channels such as direct predation from fighting groups, but it may also help preserve ecosystems by dissuading […]


Learning How (Not) to Fire a Gun: Combatant Training and Civilian Victimization

Ben Oppenheim,  Juan F. Vargas,  Michael Weintraub, 

What is the relationship between the type of training combatants receive upon recruitment into an armed group and their propensity to abuse civilians in civil […]


Sovereign Risk and Armed Conflict: An Event-study for Colombia

Juan F. Vargas,  Andrés Castañeda

We study the relationship between some of the most important recent events of the Colombian armed conflict and the foreign perception of sovereign risk, as […]


The Persistent Colombian Conflict: Subnational Analysis of the Duration of Violence

Juan F. Vargas, 

The growing empirical literature on the analysis of civil war has recently included the study of conflict duration at the cross-country level. This paper presents, […]


Empowering IDP with SMS: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Bogotá

Juan F. Vargas,  Mariana Blanco

We carried out a randomized controlled trial in Bogotá, the recipient of Colombia’s highest number of internally displaced people (IDP), to assess whether the use […]


Military Empowerment and Civilian Targeting in Civil War

Juan F. Vargas, 

Civilians constitute a large share of casualties in civil wars across the world. They are targeted to create fear and punish allegiance with the enemy. […]