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The Geography of Inter-State Resource Wars

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  • Francesco Caselli
  • Massimo Morelli
  • Dominic Rohner

Abstract

We establish a theoretical as well as empirical framework to assess the role of resource endowments and their geographic location for inter-State conflict. The main predictions of the theory are that conflict tends to be more likely when at least one country has natural resources; when the resources in the resource-endowed country are closer to the border; and, in the case where both countries have natural resources, when the resources are located asymmetrically vis-a-vis the border. We test these predictions on a novel dataset featuring oilfield distances from bilateral borders. The empirical analysis shows that the presence and location of oil are significant and quantitatively important predictors of inter-State conflicts after WW2.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1212.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1212

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: conflict; natural resources; territorial war; energy economics;

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  1. Anca M. Cotet & Kevin K. Tsui, 2013. "Oil and Conflict: What Does the Cross Country Evidence Really Show?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 49-80, January.
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  4. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic Mass Killings," Working Papers 459, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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  23. Erik Gartzke & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "The political economy of imperialism, decolonization, and development," IEW - Working Papers 466, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2009. "War and Relatedness," CEPR Discussion Papers 7371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Della Vigna, Stefano & Enikolopov, Ruben & Mironova, Vera & Petrova, Maria & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2012. "Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia," CEPR Discussion Papers 9042, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2014. "Resource Concentration and Civil Wars," NBER Working Papers 20129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Torfinn Harding & James Cust, 2013. "Institutions and the Location of Oil Exploration," Economics Series Working Papers OxCarre Research Paper 12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2012. "Resource Wars and Confiscation Risk," OxCarre Working Papers 097, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.

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