Individual exposure to armed conflict and entrepreneurship


We study the individual level impacts of exposure to armed conflict on entrepreneurial activity.  We introduce new data from a large-N field survey we conducted in Turkey in 2019. Our study  is built on a natural experiment setting that allows us to identify random exposure to armed  conflict, to establish a clear timeline, to isolate the individual effects from any conflict induced  deterioration in the economic environment, and to demonstrate the causal impact of armed  conflict exposure. We show that while exposure to the conflict environment reduces the  likelihood of private economic activity, those individuals who directly experience traumatizing  violent events in that environment become significantly and substantially more likely to setup  their own business. However, results also indicate that, while they are more likely to venture  into private economic activity, these individuals are also more likely to fail in those ventures.  Our analyses indicate exposure-induced changes in outlook on life as a potential mechanism  behind these causal associations. 

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