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Population Size and Civil Conflict Risk: Is there a Causal Link?

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  • Markus Brückner

Abstract

Does an expansion of the population size expose nation states to a higher risk of suffering from civil conflict? Obtaining empirical evidence for a causal relationship is difficult due to reverse effects and omitted variable bias. This article addresses causality issues by using randomly occurring drought as an instrumental variable to generate exogenous variation in population size for a panel of 37 Sub-Saharan countries over the period 1981-2004. Instrumental variable estimates yield that a 5% increase in population size raises the risk of civil conflict by around six percentage points. Copyright © The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2010.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Brückner, 2010. "Population Size and Civil Conflict Risk: Is there a Causal Link?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 535-550, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:544:p:535-550
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    14. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2010. "International Commodity Prices, Growth and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 519-534, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-François Maystadt & Margherita Calderone & Liangzhi You, 2015. "Local warming and violent conflict in North and South Sudan," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 649-671.
    2. Jean-Francois Maystadt & Olivier Ecker & Athur Mabiso, 2013. "Extreme Weather and Civil War in Somalia: Does Drought Fuel Conflict through Livestock Price Shocks?," LICOS Discussion Papers 32613, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    3. Matteo Cervellati & Sunde, Uwe & Simona Valmori, 2011. "Disease Environment and Civil Conflicts," Economics Working Paper Series 1113, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    4. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00962481 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Luca Marchiori & Jean Francois Maystadt & Ingmar Schumacher, 2013. "Is environmentally," Working Papers 2013-17, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    6. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza, 2013. "Demographic Transition in Resource Rich Countries: A Blessing or a Curse?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 337-351.
    7. Janus, Thorsten & Riera-Crichton, Daniel, 2015. "Economic shocks, civil war and ethnicity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 32-44.
    8. Brückner, Markus & Gradstein, Mark, 2013. "Effects of transitory shocks to aggregate output on consumption in poor countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 343-357.
    9. Maystadt, Jean-François & Trinh Tan, Jean-François & Breisinger, Clemens, 2014. "Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 106-115.
    10. repec:ipg:wpaper:2013-017 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lin, Faqin & Sim, Nicholas C.S., 2014. "Baltic Dry Index and the democratic window of opportunity," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 143-159.
    12. Davide Fiaschi, 2009. "Natural Resources, Social Conflict and Poverty Trap," Discussion Papers 2009/82, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    13. Ludwig, Markus, 2013. "Youth Bulge and Mid-Life Moderation: Large Cohort Size Effects, Economic Perspectives and Civil Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 53088, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Qiang Chen, 2015. "Climate Shocks, State Capacity and Peasant Uprisings in North China during 25–1911 ce," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(326), pages 295-318, April.
    15. Jean-François Maystadt & Olivier Ecker, 2014. "Extreme Weather and Civil War: Does Drought Fuel Conflict in Somalia through Livestock Price Shocks?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1157-1182.
    16. repec:ipg:wpaper:17 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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