This paper examines the effect of conflict on internal migration. We uncover the mechanisms through which the presence of non-state armed actors cause migration: direct exposure to violence, uncertainty and fear, and the non-state armed actor exercise of control over the community. We use panel data for households in Colombia before and after migration and exploit the variation in the incidence of community violence and control of non-state armed actors within municipalities. The results show that households are willing to trade reductions in per capita consumption for improvements in security conditions. Direct victims of violence migrate to urban areas, while individuals living in communities with high control of armed groups are less likely to migrate within their municipalities. Stayers are presumably better able to cope with conflict induced risks by negotiating their daily lives with armed actors, adjusting their behavior to abide by the rules they impose, changing their economic behavior, or forming alliances in exchange for protection and economic and political benefits.
Examining Forced Displacement beyond Violence: The Effect of Violence and Control of Armed Actors in Colombia. With Ana María Arjona, Juan Camilo Cárdenas, Ana María Ibáñez, and Patricia Justino. December 2015.