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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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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/51548/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 51548.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:51548

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  1. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic Mass Killings," Working Papers 459, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2001. "Guns, Butter, and Openness: On the Relationship between Security and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 353-357, May.
  3. Sandeep Baliga & David Lucca & Tomas Sjostrom, 2009. "Domestic Political Survival and International Conflict: Is Democracy Good for Peace?," Departmental Working Papers 200907, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Natural resource distribution and multiple forms of civil war," IEW - Working Papers 498, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Rohner, D. & Thoenig, M. & Zilibotti, F., 2011. "War Signals: A Theory of Trade, Trust and Conflict," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1136, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. World Bank, 2009. "World Development Indicators 2009," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4367, August.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski & Pierre Yared, 2011. "A Dynamic Theory of Resource Wars," NBER Working Papers 16682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Anca Cotet & Kevin K. Tsui, 2010. "Oil and Conflict: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," Working Papers 201002, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2010.
  9. Yu-Hsiang Lei & Guy Michaels, 2012. "Do Giant Oilfield Discoveries Fuel Internal Armed Conflicts?," OxCarre Working Papers 067, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  10. Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2008. "Make Trade Not War?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 865-900.
  11. Reuven Glick & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Collateral Damage: Trade Disruption and the Economic Impact of War," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 102-127, February.
  12. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  13. Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2008. "Democratic Peace and Electoral Accountability¤," CEPR Discussion Papers 6908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2010. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3125, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. 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.
  16. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1218-44, September.
  17. Daniel M. Jones & Stuart A. Bremer & J. David Singer, 1996. "Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1816–1992: Rationale, Coding Rules, and Empirical Patterns," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 15(2), pages 163-213, September.
  18. Päivi Lujala & Jan Ketil Rod & Nadja Thieme, 2007. "Fighting over Oil: Introducing a New Dataset," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 24(3), pages 239-256, July.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
  22. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1992. "Cooperation, Conflict, and Power in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 720-39, September.
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  24. Jackson, Matthew O. & Morelli, Massimo, . "Political bias and war," Working Papers 1247, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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Cited by:
  1. Della Vigna, Stefano & Enikolopov, Ruben & Mironova, Vera & Petrova, Maria & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2013. "Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1312, CEPREMAP.
  2. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "War and Relatedness," NBER Working Papers 15095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2014. "Resource Concentration and Civil Wars," NBER Working Papers 20129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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