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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. Enrico Spolaore, 2008. "Civil conflict and secessions," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 45-63, January.
  2. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
  3. Angus Deaton, 2004. "Measuring poverty in a growing world (or measuring growth in a poor world)," Working Papers 178, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
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  5. Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2006. "Conflict, Defense Spending, and the Number of Nations," Scholarly Articles 4553016, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Jose G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2007. "Fighting against Malaria: Prevent Wars while Waiting for the "Miraculous" Vaccine," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 165-177, February.
  8. Enrico Spolaore & Alberto Alesina, 2001. "War, Peace and the Size of Countries," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1937, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. 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.
  10. 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..
  11. 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.
  12. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2009. "International Commodity Prices, Growth, and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2009-37, FEDEA.
  13. Fuller, Wayne A, 1977. "Some Properties of a Modification of the Limited Information Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 939-53, May.
  14. 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.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Brückner, Markus & Ciccone, Antonio, 2007. "Growth, Democracy, and Civil War," CEPR Discussion Papers 6568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. Maystadt, Jean-Francois & Ecker, Olivier & Mabiso, Athur, 2013. "Extreme weather and civil war in Somalia: Does drought fuel conflict through livestock price shocks?," IFPRI discussion papers 1243, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00962481 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. 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.
  7. Maystadt, Jean-François & Trinh Tan, Jean-François & Breisinger, Clemens, 2014. "Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 106-115.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Ludwig, Markus, 2013. "Youth Bulge and Mid-Life Moderation: Large Cohort Size Effects, Economic Perspectives and Civil Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 53088, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. repec:ipg:wpaper:17 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. 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.

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