The Economic Cost of the War in Sri Lanka

Research team

Saman Kelegama
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Nisha Arunatilake
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Sisira Jayasuriya


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US$ 15 (for hardcopy)

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.

Table of Contents

  • Background and Consequences of the War
  • Estimating the Economic Costs of War: Some Methodological Issues
  • Previous Studies of the Cost of the War in Sri Lanka
  • Estimating the Costs of the War: Methods and Results
  • Concluding Remarks