Instrumental characterization of Colombia's IDPS: Empirical evidence from the Continuous Household Survey (2001-2006)
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As an alternative to the problem revolving around the real dimension of forced displacement in Colombia, this paper analyze the explanatory power of instrumental characterization of forced displacement from the Continuous Household Survey (ECH) as an alternative information system. This study focuses on the capacity that ECH would have to replicate on the microdata level, some of the recurrent patterns detected in multiple studies of displaced communities. Some particular elements of the displaced population were evaluated, such as their level of education, patterns of gender, size and dependency rates of displaced households, as well as labor insertion patterns. In general, the characterization of forced displacement through the ECH for 2001-2006 reflected patterns identified in the literature on displacement in Colombia; it presented empirical profiles similar to those found in sample studies and information systems about forced displacement. Additionally, this information system displays differential behaviors between voluntary economic migrants and displaced individuals (IDPs-Internally Displaced Persons) consistent with the theoretical analysis of migrant selection postulated by Borjas (1982). Among the displaced population, a greater proportion of minors as well as a high economic dependency rate were shown; moreover, a gender dimension linked to family decomposition was found, because a higher proportion of displaced households were headed by women, as well as a higher proportion of widows, and women earned lower revenues. The empirical treatment offers two significant conclusions. The first reinforces the existence of certain facts stylized in the forced displacement profile in Colombia. The second is that the characterization of displacement from involuntary migration detected in the ECH reinforces stylized facts and enables the development of much more elaborate analytical exercises.