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Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment

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  • Antonio Ciccone

Abstract

Edward Miguel, Shanker Satyanath, and Ernest Sergenti (2004), henceforth MSS, argue that lower rainfall levels and negative rainfall shocks increase conflict risk in sub-Saharan Africa. This conclusion rests on their finding of a negative correlation between conflict in t and rainfall growth between t — 1 and t — 2. I show that this finding is driven by a (counterintuitive) positive correlation between conflict in t and rainfall levels in t — 2. If lower rainfall levels or negative rainfall shocks increased conflict, MSS's finding should have been due to a negative correlation between conflict in t and rainfall levels in t — 1. In the latest data, conflict is unrelated to rainfall. (JEL D74, E32, O11, O17, O47)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 215-27

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:215-27

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.4.215
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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
  2. repec:fth:prinin:455 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
  4. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
  5. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
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