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The Geography of Interstate Resource Wars

Author

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  • Francesco Caselli
  • Massimo Morelli
  • Dominic Rohner

Abstract

We establish a theoretical and empirical framework to assess the role of resource endowments and their geographic location in interstate conflict. The main predictions of the theory are that conflict is more likely when at least one country has natural resources, when the resources in the resource-endowed country are closer to the border, and, in the case where both countries have natural resources, when the resources are located asymmetrically vis-à-vis the border. We test these predictions on a novel data set featuring oilfield distances from bilateral borders. The empirical analysis shows that the presence and location of oil are significant and quantitatively important predictors of interstate conflicts after World War II. JEL Codes: C23, D74, F51, H56, Q34.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2015. "The Geography of Interstate Resource Wars," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 267-315.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:130:y:2015:i:1:p:267-315
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qju038
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    Cited by:

    1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2016. "War and Relatedness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(5), pages 925-939, December.
    2. Badeeb, Ramez Abubakr & Lean, Hooi Hooi & Clark, Jeremy, 2017. "The evolution of the natural resource curse thesis: A critical literature survey," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 123-134.
    3. Maurer, Stephan E., 2018. "Oil discoveries and education spending in the postbellum south," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88677, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Dziubinski, M. & Goyal, S. & Minarsch, D . E. N., 2017. "The Strategy of Conquest," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1704, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Francesco Caselli & Andrea Tesei, 2016. "Resource Windfalls, Political Regimes, and Political Stability," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 573-590, July.
    6. Lei, Yu-Hsiang & Michaels, Guy, 2014. "Do giant oilfield discoveries fuel internal armed conflicts?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 139-157.
    7. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2012. "Resource Wars and Confiscation Risk," OxCarre Working Papers 097, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2017. "Rapacious Oil Exploration in face of Regime Switches: Breakthrough Renewable Energy and Dynamic Resource Wars," Development Working Papers 415, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 21 Feb 2017.
    9. Stefano Della Vigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2014. "Cross-Border Media and Nationalism: Evidence from Serbian Radio in Croatia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 103-132, July.
    10. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2015. "Strategic Mass Killings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(5), pages 1087-1132.
    11. Erik O. Kimbrough & Kevin Laughren & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2017. "War and Conflict in Economics: Theories, Applications, and Recent Trends," Working Papers 17-13, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    12. Morelli, Massimo & Rohner, Dominic, 2015. "Resource concentration and civil wars," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 32-47.
    13. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2015. "Trade and insecure resources," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 98-114.
    14. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:6:p:1564-1610 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:spr:ecogov:v:19:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10101-018-0203-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Andrew Beckmann, 2018. "Conflict Over Transnational River Resources: An Applied Game Theoretic Analysis," Working Papers 201806, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    17. Melisa Janet Luc, 2015. "Recursos naturales y delimitación de fronteras en América Latina en la primera globalización: una aproximación desde la Guerra del Acre," TIEMPO & ECONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD DE BOGOTA JORGE TADEO LOZANO, vol. 2(1), pages 69-88, June.
    18. Nicolas Berman & Mathieu Couttenier & Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig, 2017. "This Mine Is Mine! How Minerals Fuel Conflicts in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(6), pages 1564-1610, June.
    19. Martínez, Luis R., 2017. "Transnational insurgents: Evidence from Colombia's FARC at the border with Chávez's Venezuela," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 138-153.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • 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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