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Working Paper

Infrastructure in Conflict-Prone and Fragile Environments : Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo

SANITATION RISKS ECONOMIC GROWTH PRICE OF FUEL INCOME VEHICLE SPEED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE TRANSPORTATION COSTS NATIONS TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURES ELASTICITY ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION POLITICAL ECONOMY AGGLOMERATION BENEFITS CONVENTION TRAVEL SPEED PROJECTS TRAFFIC ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE HIGHWAY SYSTEM TAX ROUTES FARM HOUSEHOLDS GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT WEALTH INDEPENDENCE CONFLICT AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT INTERNATIONAL BANK MEASURES WARFARE TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE ROAD TYPE REBELS POVERTY REDUCTION POLARIZATION TRAVEL COSTS VEHICLE ARMED CONFLICT CONSTRAINT FUNDS FOR ROADS EXPLOITATION CROP PRODUCTION ROAD COSTS RURAL HOUSEHOLDS TRANSPORTATION NETWORK ROAD NETWORK TRANSPORT IMPACT OF TRANSPORT FOREIGN AID HOUSEHOLD HEAD INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM GOVERNMENT CONTROL EXPERTS TRANSFERS VIOLENCE HOUSEHOLD INCOME LOCAL CONFLICT COSTS PER VEHICLE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC SANCTIONS EMERGENCY RESPONSE ROAD IMPROVEMENT WELFARE INDICATORS FARMERS RURAL ROADS ROUTE RULE OF LAW BETTER ACCESS TO MARKETS ROAD QUALITY AVERAGE DAILY TRAFFIC INFRASTRUCTURE LAND USE NUTRITIONAL STATUS TRANSPORT NETWORK HUMAN CAPITAL FARMLAND TRAVEL TRANSPORTATION POLICIES POVERTY INDEX FEMALE-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS CARS RURAL AREA REBEL ACCESSIBILITY RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE POPULATION DENSITY ECONOMY VIOLENT CONFLICT AGRICULTURAL LAND MALNUTRITION RURAL NATION NUTRITION BATTLE ACCESS TO MARKETS HIGHWAYS BATTLES ROADS CHILD MORTALITY CAR WALKING HIGHWAY RAILWAYS SUBSISTENCE FARMERS COST OF TRANSPORT INTERNAL WAR WARS TRANSPORTATION COST WAR ACCESS TO SERVICES PEDESTRIAN RURAL AREAS POVERTY RAILROADS FATALITIES FUEL REMOTE COMMUNITIES REHABILITATION CONFLICTS UNIVERSITY AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY INVESTMENTS POVERTY DYNAMICS RURAL ROAD HOUSEHOLD WELFARE CIVIL WAR POOR POVERTY IMPACT TRANSPORT COSTS CIVIL WARS ROAD TRANSPORT ECONOMIC SHOCKS TRAVEL TIME FATALITY PEACE INFRASTRUCTURES RECONSTRUCTION RURAL RESIDENCE ECONOMIES ROAD TRAFFIC BOTTLENECKS INEQUALITY
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Congo, Democratic Republic of
2015-06-02T21:35:11Z | 2015-06-02T21:35:11Z | 2015-05

In conflict-prone situations, access to markets is necessary to restore economic growth and generate the preconditions for peace and reconstruction. Hence, the rehabilitation of damaged transport infrastructure has emerged as an overarching investment priority among donors and governments. This paper brings together two distinct strands of literature on the effects of conflict on welfare and on the economic impact of transport infrastructure. The theoretical model explores how transport infrastructure affects conflict incidence and welfare when selection into rebel groups is endogenous. The implications of the model are tested with data from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The analysis addresses the problems of the endogeneity of transport costs and conflict using a novel set of instrumental variables. For transport costs, a new instrument is developed, the natural-historical path, which measures the most efficient travel route to a market, taking into account topography, land cover, and historical caravan routes. Recognizing the imprecision in measuring the geographic impacts of conflict, the analysis develops a spatial kernel density function to proxy for the incidence of conflict. To account for its endogeneity, it is instrumented with ethnic fractionalization and distance to the eastern border. A variety of indicators of well-being are used: a wealth index, a poverty index, and local gross domestic product. The results suggest that, in most situations, reducing transport costs has the expected beneficial impacts on all the measures of welfare. However, when there is intense conflict, improvements in infrastructure may not have the anticipated benefits. The results suggest the need for more nuanced strategies that take into account varying circumstances and consider actions that jointly target governance with construction activities.

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