The domestic welfare loss of Syrian civil war: an equivalent income approach
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AbstractThis paper uses an equivalent income approach to quantify the domes-tic welfare loss due to the Syrian Civil War. Focusing on the (income, life expectancy) space, we show that the equivalent income has fallen by about 60 % in comparison to the pre-conflict level. We also find that the differential between the equivalent income and the standard income for 2016 lies between $75 and $144. Although this low willingness to pay for coming back to pre-conflict survival conditions can be explained by extreme poverty due to the War, the small gap between standard and equivalent incomes tends to question the extra value brought by the latter for the measurement of standards of living in situations of severe poverty. We examine some solutions to that puzzle, including a more general specification of the utility function, the shift from an ex ante approach (valuing changes in life expectancy) to an ex post approach (valuing changes in distributions of realized longevities), as well as considering population ethical aspects. None of those solutions is fully successful in solving the puzzle.
CORE Discussion Paper 2017/25