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Do UN troops secure crops? Evidence from South Sudan


Author Info

  • Raul Caruso

    (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart)

  • Prabin B. Khadka

    (Georgetown University)

  • Ilaria Petrarca

    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Roberto Ricciuti

    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))


This paper investigates the relationship between conflict and agricultural production. In particular, we focus on the effect of the deployment of United Nations Blue Helmets as a conflict-reducing device in South Sudan. This country offers a suitable testing ground for our study because the underdevelopment of the agricultural sector is worsened because of the persistence of civil conflicts. Since UN troops improve security, the conflict-related loss of crops is expected to decrease in those areas secured by the Blue Helmets. Hence, we predict a positive relationship between their presence and cereal production. We test our hypothesis using an original dataset including all the 78 South Sudanese counties over the period 2009-2011. The dependent variable is the net cereal production and the variable of interest is the number of Blue Helmets, both measured at the county level. In the estimation we control for the non-random assignment of UN troops through an Instrumental Variables approach that allows us also to interpret the coefficients as causal effects. Our empirical results and indicate a significant marginal effect of about 0.65%. In other words, if we assume a net cereal production of 10,000 tonnes and the presence of 100 Blue Helmets, a 10% increase in the size of the troop allows the production of additional 650 tonnes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Verona, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 23/2012.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:23/2012

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Keywords: United Nations; Blue helmets; South Sudan; cereal production; peacekeeping.;

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  1. Caruso Raul, 2011. "On the Nature of Peace Economics," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 1-13, January.
  2. Brauer, Jurgen & Caruso, Raul, 2011. "Peace economists and peace economics," MPRA Paper 34927, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Sandler,Todd & Hartley,Keith, 1995. "The Economics of Defense," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521447287.
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Cited by:
  1. Bove, Vincenzo & Gavrilova, Evelina, 2014. "Income and Livelihoods in the War in Afghanistan," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 113-131.


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