IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/poleco/v32y2013icp56-79.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does inequality lead to civil wars? A global long-term study using anthropometric indicators (1816–1999)

Author

Listed:
  • Baten, Joerg
  • Mumme, Christina

Abstract

We test for the influence of absolute and relative deprivation — proxied by anthropometric methods — on civil war risk. A comprehensive height data set allows us to go back to 1816 for a global sample. We measure absolute deprivation using human stature and we use height inequality within birth cohorts to measure relative deprivation. We take care that selectivity caused by missing values does not bias the results. We find that relative economic deprivation within populations (i.e., inequality) had a strong and consistent impact on the propensity to start civil wars. By contrast, absolute deprivation was significant in most but not all specifications. We also attend to potential endogeneity through instrumental variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Baten, Joerg & Mumme, Christina, 2013. "Does inequality lead to civil wars? A global long-term study using anthropometric indicators (1816–1999)," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 56-79.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:32:y:2013:i:c:p:56-79
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2013.06.007
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176268013000402
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2013.06.007?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. José G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2005. "Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict, and Civil Wars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 796-816, June.
    2. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    3. Stergios Skaperdas, 2008. "An economic approach to analyzing civil wars," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 25-44, January.
    4. Nathan Nunn, 2008. "The Long-term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 139-176.
    5. Gupta, Sanjeev & Clements, Benedict & Bhattacharya, Rina & Chakravarti, Shamit, 2004. "Fiscal consequences of armed conflict and terrorism in low- and middle-income countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 403-421, June.
    6. Thaize Challier, M.-Christine, 2010. "Socio-political conflict, social distance, and rent extraction in historical perspective," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-67, March.
    7. Aidt, Toke S. & Jensen, Peter S., 2009. "The taxman tools up: An event history study of the introduction of the personal income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 160-175, February.
    8. Hegre, Håvard, 2001. "Toward a Democratic Civil Peace? Democracy, Political Change, and Civil War, 1816–1992," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 95(1), pages 33-48, March.
    9. Jan Luiten van Zanden & Joerg Baten & Peter Foldvari & Bas van Leeuwen, 2011. "The Changing Shape of Global Inequality - exploring a new dataset," Working Papers 0001, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    10. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
    11. Jonathan Isham & Michael Woolcock & Lant Pritchett & Gwen Busby, 2005. "The Varieties of Resource Experience: Natural Resource Export Structures and the Political Economy of Economic Growth," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-174.
    12. Moradi, Alexander & Baten, Joerg, 2005. "Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa: New Data and New Insights from Anthropometric Estimates," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1233-1265, August.
    13. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 143-179.
    14. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    15. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2009. "Beyond greed and grievance: feasibility and civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 1-27, January.
    16. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    17. Aidt, Toke S. & Jensen, Peter S., 2014. "Workers of the world, unite! Franchise extensions and the threat of revolution in Europe, 1820–1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 52-75.
    18. Easterly, William, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 755-776, November.
    19. Fearon, James D. & Laitin, David D., 2003. "Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 97(1), pages 75-90, February.
    20. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    21. Berger, Helge & Spoerer, Mark, 2001. "Economic Crises And The European Revolutions Of 1848," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 293-326, June.
    22. Tom Bundervoet & Philip Verwimp & Richard Akresh, 2009. "Health and Civil War in Rural Burundi," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    23. Robert W. Fogel, 1986. "Nutrition and the Decline in Mortality since 1700: Some Preliminary Findings," NBER Chapters, in: Long-Term Factors in American Economic Growth, pages 439-556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
    25. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2010. "The Natural Resource Curse: A Survey," Scholarly Articles 4454156, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    26. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    27. Martha Nussbaum, 2003. "Capabilities As Fundamental Entitlements: Sen And Social Justice," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 33-59.
    28. Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
    29. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    30. Karen Macours, 2011. "Increasing inequality and civil conflict in Nepal," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 1-26, January.
    31. Baten Jörg & Blum Matthias, 2011. "Anthropometric within-country Inequality and the Estimation of Skill Premia with Anthropometric Indicators," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 62(2), pages 107-138, August.
    32. Baten, Joerg & Juif, Dácil, 2014. "A story of large landowners and math skills: Inequality and human capital formation in long-run development, 1820–2000," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 375-401.
    33. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    35. Eastwood, Robert & Lipton, Michael & Newell, Andrew, 2010. "Farm Size," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: Robert Evenson & Prabhu Pingali (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 65, pages 3323-3397, Elsevier.
    36. Barron, Patrick & Kaiser, Kai & Pradhan, Menno, 2004. "Local conflict in Indonesia : Measuring incidence and identifying patterns," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3384, The World Bank.
    37. Muller, Edward N. & Seligson, Mitchell A., 1987. "Inequality and Insurgency," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 425-451, June.
    38. Christopher Cramer, 2003. "Does inequality cause conflict?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 397-412.
    39. Nafziger, E.W. & Auvinen, J., 1997. "War, Hunger, and Displacement: An Econometric Investigation into the Sources of Humanitarian Emergencies," Research Paper 142, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    40. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
    41. José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2004. "Ethnic polarization, potential conflict and civil wars," Economics Working Papers 770, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2005.
    42. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Simplice Asongu & Jacinta Nwachukwu & Sara le Roux, 2019. "The role of inclusive development and military expenditure in modulating the effect of terrorism on governance," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 46(3), pages 681-709, August.
    2. Lorenzo Cicatiello & Salvatore Ercolano & Giuseppe Gaeta, 2015. "Income distribution and political participation: a multilevel analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 447-479, May.
    3. Asongu, Simplice A. & Le Roux, Sara & Singh, Pritam, 2021. "Fighting terrorism in Africa: Complementarity between inclusive development, military expenditure and political stability," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 897-922.
    4. Çağatay Bircan & Tilman Brück & Marc Vothknecht, 2017. "Violent conflict and inequality," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 125-144, April.
    5. Simplice A. Asongu & Vanessa S. Tchamyou & Ndemaze Asongu & Nina P. Tchamyou, 2019. "Fighting terrorism in Africa when existing terrorism levels matter," Working Papers 19/084, European Xtramile Centre of African Studies (EXCAS).
    6. Baten, Jörg & de Pleijt, Alexandra, 2018. "Female autonomy generates superstars in long-term development: Evidence from 15th to 19th century Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 13348, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Krieger, Tim & Meierreiks, Daniel, 2015. "Does income inequality lead to terrorism? Evidence from the post-9/11 era," Discussion Paper Series 2015-04, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.
    8. Simplice Asongu & Vanessa Tchamyou & Ndemaze Asongu & Nina Tchamyou, 2017. "The Comparative African Economics of Inclusive Development and Military Expenditure in Fighting Terrorism," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association (AFEA), vol. 19(2), pages 77-91.
    9. Galofré-Vilà, Gregori, 2018. "Growth and maturity: A quantitative systematic review and network analysis in anthropometric history," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 107-118.
    10. Thomas Gries & Veronika Müller, 2020. "Conflict Economics and Psychological Human Needs," Working Papers CIE 135, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    11. Henrikas BartuseviÄ ius, 2019. "A congruence analysis of the inequality–conflict nexus: Evidence from 16 cases," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 36(4), pages 339-358, July.
    12. Schaff, Felix, 2020. "When ‘the state made war’, what happened to economic inequality? Evidence from preindustrial Germany (c.1400-1800)," Economic History Working Papers 107046, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    13. Schaff, Felix, 2020. "When ‘the state made war’, what happened to economic inequality? Evidence from preindustrial Germany (c.1400-1800)," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 107046, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. David Castells-Quintana & Maria del Pilar Lopez-Uribe & Tom McDermott, 2015. "Climate change and the geographical and institutional drivers of economic development," GRI Working Papers 198, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    2. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
    3. Lopez-Uribe, Maria del Pilar & Castells-Quintana, David & McDermott, Thomas K. J., 2017. "Geography, institutions and development: a review ofthe long-run impacts of climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65147, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Aguirre, Alvaro, 2016. "The risk of civil conflicts as a determinant of political institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 36-59.
    5. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War: A Review of Fifty Years of Research," Working Papers id:2231, eSocialSciences.
    6. Baten, Joerg & Juif, Dácil, 2014. "A story of large landowners and math skills: Inequality and human capital formation in long-run development, 1820–2000," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 375-401.
    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. Gomes, Joseph Flavian, 2015. "The Political Economy of the Maoist Conflict in India: An Empirical Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 96-123.
    9. Isaac Kalonda Kanyama, 2017. "Patterns and trends in horizontal inequality in the Democratic Republic of the Congo," WIDER Working Paper Series 151, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Gudrun Østby, 2013. "Inequality and political violence: A review of the literature," International Area Studies Review, Center for International Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 206-231, June.
    11. Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "Civil War," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt90n356hs, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    12. Robert MacCulloch & Silvia Pezzini, 2010. "The Roles of Freedom, Growth, and Religion in the Taste for Revolution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 329-358, May.
    13. Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Lessmann, Christian & Markwardt, Gunther, 2018. "Natural resource rents and internal conflicts: Can decentralization lift the curse?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 186-205.
    14. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9624.
    15. Axel Dreher & Merle Kreibaum, 2016. "Weapons of choice," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 53(4), pages 539-553, July.
    16. Michael Jetter & Bei Li, 2017. "The Political Economy of Opposition Groups: Peace, Terrorism, or Civil Conflict," CESifo Working Paper Series 6747, CESifo.
    17. Bosker, Maarten & de Ree, Joppe, 2014. "Ethnicity and the spread of civil war," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 206-221.
    18. Nobuhiro Mizuno & Katsuyuki Naito & Ryosuke Okazawa, 2017. "Inequality, extractive institutions, and growth in nondemocratic regimes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(1), pages 115-142, January.
    19. Oloufade, Djoulassi K., 2012. "Trade Openness, Conflict Risk and Income Inequality," MPRA Paper 40702, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2013.
    20. Ann-Sofie Isaksson, 2011. "Social divisions and institutions: assessing institutional parameter variation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 331-357, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civil wars; Anthropometric welfare indices; Economic deprivation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:32:y:2013:i:c:p:56-79. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.