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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 Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 13.06.

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Length: 51pp. + tables (total 55 pp.)
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:13.06

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
Email:
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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Related research

Keywords: Conflict; Interstate War; Border Disputes; Natural Resources; Oil; Asymmetry; Geography;

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References

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  1. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic Mass Killings," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/23, European University Institute.
  2. 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.
  3. Besley, Timothy J. & Persson, Torsten, 2007. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 6370, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2005. "Make Trade not War?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Glick, Reuven & Taylor, Alan M, 2005. "Collateral Damage: Trade Disruption and the Economic Impact of War," CEPR Discussion Papers 5209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Rohner, Dominic & Thoenig, Mathias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2011. "War Signals: A Theory of Trade, Trust and Conflict," CEPR Discussion Papers 8352, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski & Pierre Yared, 2012. "A Dynamic Theory of Resource Wars," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 283-331.
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  12. Paola Conconi & Nicolas Sahuguet & Maurizio Zanardi, 2009. "Democratic Peace and Electoral Accountability," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 814577000000000388, www.najecon.org.
  13. Micahael Tomz & Gary King & Langche Zeng, . "ReLogit: Rare Events Logistic Regression," Journal of Statistical Software, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(i02).
  14. Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Natural Resource Distribution and Multiple Forms of Civil War," HiCN Working Papers 80, Households in Conflict Network.
  15. 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.
  16. Yu-Hsiang Lei & Guy Michaels, 2011. "Do Giant Oilfield Discoveries Fuel Internal Armed Conflicts?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1089, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  18. Sylvain Chassang & Gerard Padro i Miquel, 2008. "Conflict and Deterrence under Strategic Risk," NBER Working Papers 13964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Skaperdas, S. & Syropoulos, C., 2000. "Guns, Butter, and Openness: On The Relationship Between Security and Trade," Papers 00-01-23, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  20. 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.
  21. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
  22. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
  23. 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.
  24. World Bank, 2009. "World Development Indicators 2009," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4367, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "War and Relatedness," NBER Working Papers 15095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. James Cust & Torfinn Harding, 2013. "Institutions and the Location of Oil Exploration," Economics Series Working Papers OxCarre Research Paper 12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2014. "Resource Concentration and Civil Wars," NBER Working Papers 20129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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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