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Resources, conflict, and economic development in Africa

Author

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  • Adhvaryu, Achyuta
  • Fenske, James
  • Khanna, Gaurav
  • Nyshadham, Anant

Abstract

Evidence suggests that natural resources have driven conflict and underdevelopment in modern Africa. We show that this relationship exists primarily when neighboring regions are resource-rich. When neighbors are resource-poor, own resources instead drive economic growth. To motivate the empirical study of this set of facts, we present a simple model of parties engaged in potential conflict over resources, revealing that economic prosperity is a function of equilibrium conflict prevalence, determined not just by a region's own resources but also by the resources of its neighbors. Structural estimates confirm the model's predictions, and reveal that conflict equilibria are more prevalent where institutional quality is worse.

Suggested Citation

  • Adhvaryu, Achyuta & Fenske, James & Khanna, Gaurav & Nyshadham, Anant, 2021. "Resources, conflict, and economic development in Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:149:y:2021:i:c:s0304387820301735
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2020.102598
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    Cited by:

    1. Ang, James B. & Gupta, Satyendra Kumar, 2018. "Agricultural yield and conflict," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 397-417.
    2. Martin Gassebner & Paul Schaudt & Melvin H. L. Wong, 2020. "Armed Groups in Conflict: Competition and Political Violence in Pakistan," CESifo Working Paper Series 8372, CESifo.
    3. Victoire Girard & Nicolas Berman & Mathieu Couttenier, 2020. "Natural resources and the salience of ethnic identities," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp2007, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Nova School of Business and Economics, NOVAFRICA.
    4. Sini, Snow & Abdul-Rahim, A.S. & Sulaiman, Chindo, 2021. "Does natural resource influence conflict in Africa? Evidence from panel nonlinear relationship," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    5. Nguyen, Minh-Hoang, 2021. "Resource curse - Wikipedia," OSF Preprints 36uyb, Center for Open Science.
    6. Stoop, Nik & Verpoorten, Marijke & van der Windt, Peter, 2019. "Artisanal or industrial conflict minerals? Evidence from Eastern Congo," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 660-674.
    7. Boxell, Levi & Dalton, John T. & Leung, Tin Cheuk, 2019. "The Slave Trade and Conflict in Africa, 1400-2000," MPRA Paper 94468, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. John D. Huber & Laura Mayoral, 2019. "Group inequality and the severity of civil conflict," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 1-41, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; Resource curse; Institutions; Nighttime lights; Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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