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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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18978.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18978

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  1. Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Natural Resource Distribution and Multiple Forms of Civil War," OxCarre Working Papers 050, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Yu-Hsiang Lei & Guy Michaels, 2011. "Do giant oilfield discoveries fuel internal armed conflicts?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48088, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2007. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," NBER Working Papers 13028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stefano DellaVigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2012. "Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia," Working Papers w0189, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  2. 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.
  3. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "War and Relatedness," CESifo Working Paper Series 2696, CESifo Group Munich.
  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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