Centro de Estudios Manuel Ramírez


Análisis de cambios en el uso del suelo y costos de oportunidad para la captura de carbono mediante acciones REDD+ en Guatemala y República Dominicana

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Oiling up the field. Forced internal displacement and the expansion of palm oil in Colombia (Jaime Millán & Sebastián Pulgarín)

The analysis of the relationship between natural resources and violent conflicts has shown how positive shocks in agricultural commodities are usually linked with reductions in violence (opportunity cost effect), while positive shocks to minerals or extractive commodities seem to increase conflict (rapacity effect). In this paper we examine the case of palm oil expansion in Colombia and find that our results differ from previous studies. We use changes in international prices of palm oil to show how positive income shocks increased forced displacement in palm producing municipalities.

We found that a 1% increase in the price of palm oil raises the forced internal displacement rate in palm municipalities by 0.42 standard deviations. We also show evidence that the negative effect of palm oil income shock was stronger in areas with paramilitary armies, weak contract institutions and better land distribution. In addition, increases in palm prices increase rural violence but not urban violence. Our results support the hypothesis that the violence linked with the palm expansion was the result of the search for new lands for palm trees in a framework of weak institutions. Therefore, one can argue that in the case of the palm expansion the rapacity effect over new lands was stronger than possible labor market effects.

Keywords: Income shocks, Conflict, Commodity prices, Natural resources, Forced displacement.

JEL: D74, F14, O13, O15, Q17

Liquidity constraints and free post-secondary education. Evidence from Colombia (Jaime Millán & Luis Fernando Gamboa)

Is free education the solution which will allow low-income individuals to invest in tertiary education or, do poor households still face liquidity constraints when education tuition is free?. In this paper we depart from the current literature and provide new evidence on the importance of short run liquidity constraints in the case of free post-secondary education. We take advantage of a unique framework when we observe two sources of exogenous variations in enrollment in tuition free vocational education in Colombia.

Hence, comparing multiple fuzzy regression discontinuity estimates and their interpretation as local average treatment effects, we are able to disentangle the role played by liquidity constraints in explaining low enrollment rates in vocational education. We first show that eligibility for financial aid increases enrollment by 11.9 percentage points for men. In addition, men with larger returns from education are more likely to be affected by the availability of financial aid. In contrast, when variation in enrollment is not coming from changes in the relative cost of education, compliers to such variation are not necessarily individuals with large returns from education. In step with previous literature, our results aligned with the hypothesis that men encounter short-run liquidity constraints even when entering free tertiary education.

JEL: I26, C36, J21

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