IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Climate Shocks and Sino-nomadic Conflict


  • Ying Bai

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • James Kai-sing Kung

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)


Employing droughts and floods to proxy for changes in precipitation, this paper shows nomadic incursions into settled Han Chinese regions over a period of more than two thousand years—the most enduring clash of civilizations in history—to be positively correlated with less rainfall and negatively correlated with more rainfall. Consistent with findings that economic shocks are positively correlated with conflicts in modern sub-Saharan Africa when instrumented by rainfall, our reduced-form results extend this relationship to a very different temporal and geographical context, the Asian continent, and long historical period. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Ying Bai & James Kai-sing Kung, 2011. "Climate Shocks and Sino-nomadic Conflict," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 970-981, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:3:p:970-981

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joachim De Weerdt, 2010. "Moving out of Poverty in Tanzania: Evidence from Kagera," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 331-349.
    2. Gabriel Demombynes & Johannes G. Hoogeveen, 2007. "Growth, Inequality and Simulated Poverty Paths for Tanzania, 1992--2002," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(4), pages 596-628, August.
    3. Talip Kilic & Calogero Carletto & Benjamin Davis & Alberto Zezza, 2009. "Investing back home," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(3), pages 587-623, July.
    4. McKenzie, David & Sasin, Marcin J., 2007. "Migration, remittances, poverty, and human capital : conceptual and empirical challenges," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4272, The World Bank.
    5. 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.
    6. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, June.
    7. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-926, August.
    8. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    9. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2003. "Payoffs from Panels in Low-Income Countries: Economic Development and Economic Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 112-117, May.
    10. Kilic, Talip & Carletto, Calogero & Davis, Benjamin & Zezza, Alberto, 2007. "Investing back home : return migration and business ownership in Albania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4366, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Ko, Chiu Yu & Koyama, Mark & Sng, Tuan-Hwee, 2014. "Unified China and Divided Europe," CEI Working Paper Series 2014-7, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Nunn, Nathan, 2014. "Historical Development," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 7, pages 347-402 Elsevier.
    3. Ko, Chiu Yu & Koyama, Mark & Sng, Tuan-Hwee, 2014. "Unified China; Divided Europe," MPRA Paper 60418, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Qiang Chen & Yijiang Wang & Chun-lei Yang, 2014. "Taxation under Autocracy: Theory and Evidence from Late Imperial China," SDU Working Papers 2014-03, School of Economics, Shandong University.
    5. Kibriya, Shahriar & Xu, Zhicheng P. & Zhang, Yu, 2015. "Economic shocks, governance and violence: A subnational level analysis of Africa," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205321, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    6. Kung, James Kai-sing & Ma, Chicheng, 2014. "Can cultural norms reduce conflicts? Confucianism and peasant rebellions in Qing China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 132-149.
    7. Chen, Zhiwu & Peng, Kaixiang & Zhu, Lijun, 2017. "Social-economic change and its impact on violence: Homicide history of Qing China," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 8-25.
    8. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:297-305 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Qiang Chen, 2015. "Climate Shocks, State Capacity and Peasant Uprisings in North China during 25–1911 ce," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(326), pages 295-318, April.
    10. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:3:p:970-981. 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: (Kristin Waites). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.