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Climate-related natural disasters, economic growth, and armed civil conflict

Author

Listed:
  • Drago Bergholt

    () (Department of Economics, Norwegian Business School (BI))

  • Päivi Lujala

    (Department of Economics & Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) & Centre for the Study of Civil War, PRIO)

Abstract

Global warming is expected to make the climate warmer, wetter, and wilder. It is predicted that such climate change will increase the severity and frequency of climate-related disasters like flash floods, surges, cyclones, and severe storms. This article uses econometric methods to study the consequences of climate-induced natural disasters on economic growth, and how these disasters are linked to the onset of armed civil conflict either directly or via their impact on economic growth. The results show that climate-related natural disasters have a negative effect on growth and that the impact is considerable. The analysis of conflict onset shows that climate-related natural disasters do not increase the risk of armed conflict. This is also true when we instrument the change in GDP growth by climatic disasters. The result is robust to inclusion of country and time fixed effects, different estimation techniques, and various operationalization of the disasters measure, as well as for conflict incidence and war onset. These findings have two major implications: if climate change increases the frequency or makes weather-related natural disasters more severe, it is an economic concern for countries susceptible to these types of hazards. However, our results suggest – based on historical data – that more frequent and severe climate-related disasters will not lead to more armed conflicts through their effects on GDP growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Drago Bergholt & Päivi Lujala, 2012. "Climate-related natural disasters, economic growth, and armed civil conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 147-162, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:49:y:2012:i:1:p:147-162
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Haubrich, Joseph G. & Lo, Andrew W. (ed.), 2013. "Quantifying Systemic Risk," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226319285.
    2. Vally Koubi & Thomas Bernauer & Anna Kalbhenn & Gabriele Spilker, 2012. "Climate variability, economic growth, and civil conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 113-127, January.
    3. Joseph G. Haubrich & Andrew W. Lo, 2013. "Quantifying Systemic Risk," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number haub10-1, January.
    4. Conor Devitt & Richard SJ Tol, 2012. "Civil war, climate change, and development: A scenario study for sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 129-145, January.
    5. Nils Petter Gleditsch, 2012. "Whither the weather? Climate change and conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 3-9, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Marshall Burke & Solomon M. Hsiang & Edward Miguel, 2015. "Climate and Conflict," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 577-617, August.
    3. Matthew Ranson & Lisa Tarquinio & Audrey Lew, 2016. "Modeling the Impact of Climate Change on Extreme Weather Losses," NCEE Working Paper Series 201602, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised May 2016.
    4. Giorgos Kallis & Christos Zografos, 2014. "Hydro-climatic change, conflict and security," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 69-82, March.
    5. Ghimire, Ramesh & Ferreira, Susana, 2013. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: The Case of Large Floods," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 142587, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    6. Chen, Junyi & McCarl, Bruce A. & Price, Edwin & Wu, Ximing & Bessler, David A., 2016. "Climate as a Cause of Conflict: An Econometric Analysis," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 229783, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:spr:nathaz:v:90:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11069-017-3045-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Viviana Vanegas Barrero, 2014. "Exposición prenatal a la violencia y deserción escolar en el largo plazo en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 012346, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    10. repec:bpj:pepspp:v:23:y:2017:i:4:p:7:n:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Achim Ahrens, 2015. "Civil conflicts in Africa: Climate, economic shocks, nighttime lights and spill-over effects," SEEC Discussion Papers 1501, Spatial Economics and Econometrics Centre, Heriot Watt University.
    12. Hans Visser & Arthur Petersen & Willem Ligtvoet, 2014. "On the relation between weather-related disaster impacts, vulnerability and climate change," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 461-477, August.
    13. Rajapaksa, Darshana & Islam, Moinul & Managi, Shunsuke, 2017. "Natural capital depletion: The impact of natural disasters on inclusive growth," MPRA Paper 79277, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2017.
    14. Bhavnani, Rikhil R. & Lacina, Bethany, 2017. "Fiscal Federalism at Work? Central Responses to Internal Migration in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 236-248.
    15. Zhukov, Yuri M., 2016. "Trading hard hats for combat helmets: The economics of rebellion in eastern Ukraine," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-15.
    16. Solomon Hsiang & Marshall Burke, 2014. "Climate, conflict, and social stability: what does the evidence say?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 39-55, March.
    17. Brunnschweiler Christa N. & Lujala Päivi, 2017. "Income and Armed Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 23(4), pages 1-7, December.
    18. Ole Theisen & Nils Gleditsch & Halvard Buhaug, 2013. "Is climate change a driver of armed conflict?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 613-625, April.

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