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International Relative Prices and Civil Wars in Sub-Saharan Africa. Theory and Evidence over the period (1995-2006)

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  • Caruso, Raul

Abstract

This paper presents first a theoretical model of conflict between two agents characterized by a two-sector economy. In a contested sector two agents struggle to appropriate the maximum possible fraction of a contestable output. In an uncontested sector, they hold secure property rights over the production of some goods. Agents split their resource endowment between ‘butter’, ‘guns’ and ‘ice-cream’. Eventually, tradable goods made of butter and ice-cream produced by conflicting parties are both sold to the Rest of the world. Therefore, the opportunity cost of conflict depends also on relative profitability of contested and uncontested production. In particular, productivity of uncontested production and profitability of contested sectors are countervailing forces. The empirical section focused on a panel of Sub-Saharan African countries for the period 1995-2006. Results are not fully conclusive. However, there is robust evidence that prices of manufactures (interpreted as the uncontested ice-cream) are negatively associated with the likelihood of a civil war. Eventually, international price of manufactures is also associated with a higher GDP per capita growth rate. The concluding remark seems to be that an increase in world prices of manufactures would make civil wars less likely.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29761.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29761

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Keywords: Theoretical model of conflict; Civil war; resource curse; butter guns and ice-cream; structure of the economy; commodity prices; MUV; panel probit analysis;

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References

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  1. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2007. "International commodity prices, growth and the outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics Working Papers 1053, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2009.
  2. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 005, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  16. Matthew J. Baker, 2003. "An Equilibrium Conflict Model of Land Tenure in Hunter-Gatherer Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 124-173, February.
  17. Raul Caruso, 2004. "A Trade Institution as a Peaceful Institution?," Others 0406003, EconWPA, revised 15 Dec 2004.
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