The Impacts of Childhood Exposure to Terrorist Attacks on Teenagers’ Socioemotional Skills and Alcohol Consumption


This paper explores the impact of exposure to violence during the first nine years of life on risky health behaviors and socioemotional skills as a teenager. In Colombia, over 2 million children have experienced violence, but the medium-term consequences on risky health behaviors and socioemotional skills are not well understood. Using data from the Colombian Longitudinal Survey and administrative data at the municipality level, I leverage the within-municipality cross-cohort variation to study how exposure to terrorist attacks affects risky health behaviors and socioemotional skills. My findings suggest that exposure to terrorist attacks is associated with a 5.23% increase in the probability of drinking and a 5.1% increase in the total socioemotional difficulties experienced, driven by the hyperactivity scores (4.94%). These results shed light on the potential long-term consequences of violence on health and well-being, suggesting that the economic costs of violence are high.

Nicolás Fuertes-Segura
Nicolás Fuertes-Segura
Ph.D. Candidate in Economics

I am a Ph.D. Student in Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. My research focuses on health economics and economics of education using applied econometrics.