We show how the occurrence of a civil war has heterogeneous effects on the level of GDP, using case-study, synthetic control and large-N panel-data approaches. We first discuss the relation between these methods and then provide lower and upper estimates of the economic effect of civil war. Although, on average, the incidence of internal conflicts has a negative effect on the GDP level, it is very often insignificant. More importantly, however, both methods display a wide variety of individual effects, and in a large number of countries civil war has either no effect or a positive and significant impact on the prospect for economic growth.
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