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Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment

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  • Antonio Ciccone

Abstract

Edward Miguel, Shanker Satyanath, and Ernest Sergenti (2004), henceforth MSS, argue that lower rainfall levels and negative rainfall shocks increase conflict risk in sub-Saharan Africa. This conclusion rests on their finding of a negative correlation between conflict in t and rainfall growth between t — 1 and t — 2. I show that this finding is driven by a (counterintuitive) positive correlation between conflict in t and rainfall levels in t — 2. If lower rainfall levels or negative rainfall shocks increased conflict, MSS's finding should have been due to a negative correlation between conflict in t and rainfall levels in t — 1. In the latest data, conflict is unrelated to rainfall. (JEL D74, E32, O11, O17, O47)

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 215-227, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:215-27 Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.4.215
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James R. Hines Jr. & Hilary W. Hoynes & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Another Look at Whether a Rising Tide Lifts All Boats," NBER Working Papers 8412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 69-85.
    3. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
    4. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-573, October.
    5. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:75-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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