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The geographical spillover of armed conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author

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  • Carmignani, Fabrizio
  • Kler, Parvinder

Abstract

Anecdotal accounts of the geographical spread of war inevitably involve Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. But is conflict spillover effectively stronger in SSA than elsewhere? To answer this question, we estimate models of civil war onset comparing SSA against the rest of the world (RoW). We find that in SSA a neighbour at war increases the probability of civil war onset by at least 1%. This is not negligible, considering that the unconditional probability of civil war onset is 1.1% in the global sample and 1.5% in the SSA sample. The spillover effect in the RoW is three times smaller than in SSA and, in general, statistically not different from zero. The results are robust to changes in the definition of neighbourhood and the inclusion of regional variables in the estimating equations to account for clustering effects. Finally, we provide evidence that refugee inflows and the artificial separation of ethnic groups explain part, but not all, of the spillover effect in SSA.

Suggested Citation

  • Carmignani, Fabrizio & Kler, Parvinder, 2016. "The geographical spillover of armed conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 109-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:40:y:2016:i:1:p:109-119
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecosys.2015.08.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:bla:afrdev:v:30:y:2018:i:4:p:346-361 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:3:p:273-288 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict onset; Conflict duration; Contagion; Sub-Saharan Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • N47 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Africa; Oceania

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