Project Motivation

Landmines are a uniquely savage in the history of modern warfare remaining on the ground long after the cessation of hostilities. Currently, land mines affect the lives of people in more than 50 countries around the world, while a dozen or so countries are still classified as “heavily-impacted” by land mines. And land mines and improvised explosive devices have been used extensively over the past years in Syria, Iraq, Libya and other civil-war torn countries. Twelve United Nations Specialized Agencies, Departments and Offices, funds and programmes play a role in land-mine action around the world, while the international community spends close to one billion US dollars per year solely on clearance.

Nevertheless, little (if any) research exists on the consequences, economic and social, of land-mine clearance. In this project, we explore the economic consequences of landmine clearance in Mozambique, the only-so far heavily contaminated by land mines country officially declared land-mine-free in 2015, 23 years after the end of the civil war and the war of independence.

The analysis shows that while the local effects of clearance are small-to-moderate, land mine clearance is associated with considerable economic benefits for the economy, as there are sizable positive spill overs stemming from improved access to road and railroad infrastructure. Counterfactual policy simulations project considerable economic gains of demining if it was done in a strategic, centrally-planned and coordinated manner targeting proximate to roads-railroad areas and towns serving as local trade hubs–rather than in the fragmented and uncoordinated way that characterized clearance in Mozambique.