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Do giant oilfield discoveries fuel internal armed conflicts?

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  • Lei, Yu-Hsiang
  • Michaels, Guy

Abstract

We use new data to examine the effects of giant oilfield discoveries around the world since 1946. On average, these discoveries increase per capita oil production and oil exports by up to 50%. But these giant oilfield discoveries also have a dark side: they increase the incidence of internal armed conflict by about 5–8 percentage points. This increased incidence of conflict due to giant oilfield discoveries is especially high for countries that had already experienced armed conflicts or coups in the decade prior to discovery.

Suggested Citation

  • Lei, Yu-Hsiang & Michaels, Guy, 2014. "Do giant oilfield discoveries fuel internal armed conflicts?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 139-157.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:110:y:2014:i:c:p:139-157
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.06.003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Natural resources; Resource curse; Petroleum; Armed conflict; Civil war;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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