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Civil War, Climate Change and Development: A Scenario Study for Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Devitt, Conor
  • Tol, Richard S. J.

Abstract

We construct a model of development, civil war, and climate change. There are multiple interactions. Economic growth reduces the probability of civil war and the vulnerability to climate change. Climate change increases the probability of civil war. The impacts of climate change, civil war, and civil war in the neighbouring countries reduce economic growth. The model has two potential poverty traps ? a climate-change-induced one and a civil-war-induced one ? and the two poverty traps may reinforce one another. We calibrate the model to Sub-Saharan Africa and conduct a double Monte Carlo analysis accounting for both parameter uncertainty and stochasticity. We find the following. Although we use the SRES scenarios as our baseline, and thus assume rapid economic growth in Africa and convergence of African living standards to the rest of the world, the impact of civil war and climate change (ignored in SRES) are sufficiently strong to keep a number of countries in Africa in deep poverty with a high probability. Other countries enjoy exponential growth; and some countries may either be trapped in poverty or experience rapid growth. The SRES scenarios were wrong to ignore the impact of climate change and civil war on economic development.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP351.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp351

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Keywords: civil war/climate change/economic development/Climate change/growth/Impacts of climate change/poverty/scenarios/uncertainty;

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  1. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
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Cited by:
  1. Richard Tol, 2013. "Low probability, high impact: the implications of a break-up of China for carbon dioxide emissions," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(4), pages 961-970, April.
  2. Exenberger Andreas & Pondorfer Andreas, 2013. "Climate Change and the Risk of Mass Violence: Africa in the 21st Century," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 381-392, December.
  3. Richard S.J. Tol, 2012. "The Implications of a Break-Up of China for Carbon Dioxide Emissions," Working Paper Series 3912, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

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