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Exogenous Shocks, Foreign Aid, and Civil War


  • Savun, Burcu
  • Tirone, Daniel C.


The recent civil war literature suggests that negative economic shocks in low-income countries increase the risk of civil war. Foreign aid can be an effective conflict-prevention tool in times of severe economic conditions. Aid cushions government spending from the downward pressures of economic shocks, providing recipient governments with resources they can use to make rebellion a less attractive option for aggrieved domestic groups. Using Official Development Assistance (ODA) data covering 1990 through 2004, we find that foreign aid appears to be a useful tool for preventing civil wars in the wake of negative economic shocks, and as such aid should be assessed by donors with these conflict-suppressing aspects in mind.

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  • Savun, Burcu & Tirone, Daniel C., 2012. "Exogenous Shocks, Foreign Aid, and Civil War," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 363-393, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:66:y:2012:i:03:p:363-393_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Bluhm, Richard & Gassebner, Martin & Langlotz, Sarah & Schaudt, Paul, 2016. "Fueling Conflict? (De)Escalation and Bilateral Aid," Working Papers 0619, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    2. Wong, Pui-Hang, 2017. "How development aid explains (or not) the rise and fall of insurgent attacks in Iraq," MERIT Working Papers 006, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Strange, Austin M. & Parks , Bradley & Tierney, Michael J. & Fuchs, Andreas & Dreher , Axel, 2014. "Tracking Under-Reported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid-Conflict Nexus Revisited," Working Papers 0553, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

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