Nisha Arunatilake, Sisira Jayasuriya and Saman Kelegama

Macroeconomic Policy Series
There is growing interest in recent years in the economic dimensions of civil wars and other violent social conflicts. This paper discusses some of the conceptual and methodological problems associated with assessing the economic costs of such conflicts, and presents an evaluation of the costs of the (still ongoing) conflict in Sri Lanka. On conservative assumptions, the war may have cost the equivalent of twice Sri Lanka’s 1996 GDP.