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Post-conflict risks


Author Info

  • Paul Collier
  • Anke Hoeffler
  • Måns Söderbom


Post-conflict societies face two distinctive challenges: economic recovery and risk reduction. Aid and policy reforms have been found to be highly effective in the economic recovery. In this paper we concentrate on the other challenge, risk reduction. The postconflict peace is typically fragile: around half of all civil wars are due to post-conflict relapses. Both external actors and the post-conflict government must therefore give priority to reducing the risk of conflict. Our statistical results suggest that economic development does substantially reduce risks, but it takes a long time. We also find evidence that UN peacekeeping expenditures significantly reduce the risk of renewed war. The effect is large: doubling expenditure reduces the risk from 40% to 31%. In contrast to these results we cannot find any systematic influence of elections on the reduction of war risk. Therefore, post-conflict elections should be promoted as intrinsically desirable rather than as mechanisms for increasing the durability of the postconflict peace. Based on these results we suggest that peace appears to depend upon an external military presence sustaining a gradual economic recovery, with political design playing a somewhat subsidiary role. Since there is a simple and statistically strong relationship between the severity of post-conflict risks and the level of income at the end of the conflict this provides a clear and uncontroversial principle for resource allocation: resources per capita should be approximately inversely proportional to the level of income in the post-conflict country.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2006-12.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2006-12

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Cited by:
  1. Haggard, Stephan & Tiede, Lydia, 2011. "The Rule of Law and Economic Growth: Where are We?," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 673-685, May.
  2. Paul Collier, 2006. "Africa : geography and growth," TEN, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Fall, pages 18-21.
  3. Tobias, Jutta M. & Mair, Johanna & Barbosa-Leiker, Celestina, 2013. "Toward a theory of transformative entrepreneuring: Poverty reduction and conflict resolution in Rwanda's entrepreneurial coffee sector," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 728-742.
  4. William Easterly, 2009. "Can the West Save Africa?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 373-447, June.
  5. Anna Lindley, 2009. "Remittances and Conflict: Some Conceptual Considerations," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 229(6), pages 774-786, December.
  6. Fabrizio Carmignani, 2011. "Development and large scale violence," Discussion Papers Series, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia 433, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  7. Fabrizio Carmignani & Adrian Gauci, 2009. "Does fiscal policy differ between successful and unsuccessful post-conflict transitions? Lessons from African Civil Wars," Discussion Papers Series, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia 402, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.


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