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Population Size and Civil Conflict Risk: Is there a Causal Link?

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  • Markus Brückner

Abstract

Does an expansion of the population size expose nation states to a higher risk of suffering from civil conflict? Obtaining empirical evidence for a causal relationship is difficult due to reverse effects and omitted variable bias. This article addresses causality issues by using randomly occurring drought as an instrumental variable to generate exogenous variation in population size for a panel of 37 Sub-Saharan countries over the period 1981-2004. Instrumental variable estimates yield that a 5% increase in population size raises the risk of civil conflict by around six percentage points. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2010.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 544 (05)
Pages: 535-550

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:544:p:535-550

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References

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  1. Heston, Alan, 1994. "A brief review of some problems in using national accounts data in level of output comparisons and growth studies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 29-52, June.
  2. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2007. "International commodity prices, growth and the outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics Working Papers 1053, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2009.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 2006. "Conflict, defense spending, and the number of nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 91-120, January.
  4. Angus Deaton, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
  5. Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "War, Peace, and the Size of Countries," Scholarly Articles 4553002, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
  7. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Working Papers 834, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  9. Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 215-27, October.
  10. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Enrico Spolaore, 2008. "Civil conflict and secessions," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 45-63, January.
  13. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
  14. repec:fth:prinin:455 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Brückner, Markus & Ciccone, Antonio, 2007. "Growth, Democracy, and Civil War," CEPR Discussion Papers 6568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Fuller, Wayne A, 1977. "Some Properties of a Modification of the Limited Information Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 939-53, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Matteo Cervellati & Sunde, Uwe & Simona Valmori, 2011. "Disease Environment and Civil Conflicts," Economics Working Paper Series 1113, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  2. Davide Fiaschi, 2009. "Natural Resources, Social Conflict and Poverty Trap," Discussion Papers 2009/82, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  3. Calderone, Margherita & Maystadt, Jean-Francois & You, Liangzhi, 2013. "Local Warming and Violent Conflict in North and South Sudan:," IFPRI discussion papers 1276, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Jean-Francois Maystadt & Olivier Ecker & Athur Mabiso, 2013. "Extreme Weather and Civil War in Somalia: Does Drought Fuel Conflict through Livestock Price Shocks?," LICOS Discussion Papers 32613, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  5. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza, 2013. "Demographic Transition in Resource Rich Countries: A Blessing or a Curse?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 337-351.
  6. Lin, Faqin & Sim, Nicholas C.S., 2014. "Baltic Dry Index and the democratic window of opportunity," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 143-159.
  7. Brückner, Markus & Gradstein, Mark, 2013. "Effects of transitory shocks to aggregate output on consumption in poor countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 343-357.
  8. repec:ipg:wpaper:17 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Maystadt, Jean-François & Trinh Tan, Jean-François & Breisinger, Clemens, 2012. "Does Food Security Matter for Transition in Arab Countries?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1196, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Luca Marchiori & Jean-Francois Maystadt & Ingmar Schumacher, 2013. "Is environmentally-induced income variability a driver of migration? A macroeconomic perspective," Working Papers 2013-017, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  11. Qiang Chen, 2013. "Climate Shocks, State Capacity, and Peasant Uprisings in North China during 25-1911 CE," SDU Working Papers 2013-01, School of Economics, Shandong University.

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