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War and well-being in transition: Evidence from two natural experiments

Gunes Gokmen () and Evgeny Yakovlev

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, vol. 46, issue 3, 788-799

Abstract: This paper assesses the effect of the Russo–Georgian conflict of 2008 and the Ukrainian–Russian conflict of 2014 on the well-being of minorities in Russia. Using the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), we find that the well-being of Georgians in Russia suffered negatively from the 2008 Russo–Georgian conflict. We show that the conflict has no direct effect on the labor market outcomes of Georgians, and therefore, we attribute the negative effect of conflict on well-being to more indirect channels such as fear, altruism, or sympathy. In comparison, we find no general effect of the Ukrainian–Russian conflict of 2014 on the Ukrainian nationals’ happiness. However, the life satisfaction of Ukrainians who reside in the southern regions of Russia in close proximity to Ukraine is negatively affected. We also show that the negative effect of conflict is short-lived with no long-term legacy. Additionally, we analyze the spillover effects of conflict on other minorities in Russia. We find that while the well-being of non-slavic and migrant minorities who have recently moved to Russia is negatively affected, there is no effect on local minorities who have been living in Russia for at least ten years.

Keywords: Well-being; Happiness; Transition; Conflict; Minorities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I31 N44 P2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:3:p:788-799