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Farming or Fighting? Agricultural Price Shocks and Civil War in Africa

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  • Fjelde, Hanne

Abstract

This article links lower economic returns in the labor-intensive agricultural sector to a higher risk of armed conflict at the local level. It argues that income shocks, followed by rising unemployment and lower wages in the rural economy, facilitate rebel recruitment and strengthen civilian support for rebel movements. Focusing on Africa, the article introduces a location-specific measure of changes to the value of local agricultural output by combining sub-national crop production maps with data on movements in global agricultural prices. The results show that negative changes to the local agricultural price index significantly and substantially increase the risk of violent events.

Suggested Citation

  • Fjelde, Hanne, 2015. "Farming or Fighting? Agricultural Price Shocks and Civil War in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 525-534.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:67:y:2015:i:c:p:525-534
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.10.032
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin-Shields, Charles P. & Stojetz, Wolfgang, 2019. "Food security and conflict: Empirical challenges and future opportunities for research and policy making on food security and conflict," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 150-164.
    2. Spencer Dorsey, 2020. "The opportunity cost of intrastate violence and the out-of-sample validity of commodity price shocks," The Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation, , vol. 17(3), pages 309-324, July.
    3. Justin George & Adesoji Adelaja & Dave Weatherspoon, 2020. "Armed Conflicts and Food Insecurity: Evidence from Boko Haram's Attacks," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 102(1), pages 114-131, January.
    4. Zhou Yujun & Baylis Kathy, 2020. "Effects of Stockholding Policy on Maize Prices: Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-11, January.
    5. Eoin McGuirk & Marshall Burke, 2020. "The Economic Origins of Conflict in Africa," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(10), pages 3940-3997.
    6. Tackseung Jun, 2017. "Temperature, maize yield, and civil conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 183-197, May.
    7. Ubilava, David & Atalay, Kadir & Hastings, Justin V, 2021. "Commodity Price Shocks and the Seasonality of Conflict," Working Papers 2021-03, University of Sydney, School of Economics, revised Jul 2021.
    8. Babak Rezaeedaryakenari & Steven T. Landis & Cameron G. Thies, 2020. "Food price volatilities and civilian victimization in Africa," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 37(2), pages 193-214, March.
    9. Manotas-Hidalgo, Beatriz & Pérez-Sebastián, Fidel & Campo-Bescós, Miguel Angel, 2021. "The role of ethnic characteristics in the effect of income shocks on African conflict," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).

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