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Civil War and Foreign Influence

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  • Facundo Albornoz
  • Esther Hauk

Abstract

We study a symmetric information bargaining model of civil war where a third (foreign) party can affect the probabilities of winning the conflict and the size of the post conflict spoils. We show that the possible alliance with a third party makes peaceful agreements difficult to reach and might lead to new commitment problems that trigger war. Also, we argue that the foreign party is likely t oinduce persistent informational asymmetries which might explain long lasting civil wars. We explore both political and economic incentives for a third party to intervene. The explicit consideration of political incentives leads to two predictions that allow for identifying the influence of foreign intervention on civil war incidence. Both predictions are confirmed for the case of the U.S. as a potential intervening nation: (i) civil wars around the world are more likely under Republican governments and (ii) the probability of civil wars decreases with U.S. presidential approval rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 480.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:480

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  1. Antras, Pol & Padro i Miquel, Gerard, 2009. "Foreign Influence and Welfare," Scholarly Articles 3374523, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
  3. Arindrajit Dube & Ethan Kaplan & Suresh Naidu, 2011. "Coups, Corporations, and Classified Information," NBER Working Papers 16952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2013. "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1384-1421.
  5. Sylvain Chassang & Gerard Padró i Miquel, 2010. "Conflict and Deterrence under Strategic Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1821-1858, November.
  6. Toke S. Aidt & Facundo Albornoz & Martin Gassebner, 2012. "The Golden Hello and Political Transitions," CESifo Working Paper Series 3957, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2009. "International Commodity Prices, Growth, and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2009-37, FEDEA.
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