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Natural resources and violent conflict: resource abundance, dependence, and the onset of civil wars

  • Christa N. Brunnschweiler
  • Erwin H. Bulte

In this paper we examine the claim that natural resources invite civil conflict, and challenge the main stylized facts in this literature. We find that the conventional measure of resource dependence is endogenous with respect to conflict, and that instrumenting for dependence implies that it is no longer significant in conflict regressions. Instead, it appears that conflict increases dependence on resource extraction (as a default sector). Moreover, resource abundance is associated with a reduced probability of the onset of war. These results are robust to a range of specifications and, considering the conflict channel, we conclude there is no reason to regard resources as a general curse to peace and development. Copyright 2009 Oxford University Press 2009 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 61 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 651-674

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:61:y:2009:i:4:p:651-674
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