Development-Induced Displacement and Children’s Human Capital


  • Alison Buttenheim
  • Jed Friedman
  • Harold Alderman


Development projects and policies displace an estimated ten million people each year worldwide. In this study we investigate the association between population redistribution schemes and children’s human capital outcomes. Using a new dataset from
the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), we first describe the resettlement status, nutritional status, and educational attainment of children. We then ask whether children in households that have been resettled have worse nutritional status and lower educational attainment than children in non-resettled households. We use propensityscore matching methods to address unobserved heterogeneity in the likelihood of being resettled. Results suggest that resettlement is associated with poorer long-term outcomes but better short-term outcomes. Ethnicity and district are important predictors of both resettlement status and human capital.


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