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Civil War and Foreign Influence


  • Facundo Albornoz


  • Esther Hauk



We study a symmetric information bargaining model of civil war where a third (foreign) party can affect the probabilities of winning the conflict and the size of the post conflict spoils. We show that the possible alliance with a third party makes peaceful agreements difficult to reach and might lead to new commitment problems that trigger war. Also, we argue that the foreign party is likely to induce persistent informational asymmetries which might explain long lasting civil wars. We explore both political and economic incentives for a third party to intervene. The explicit consideration of political incentives leads to two predictions that allow for identifying the influence of foreign intervention on civil war incidence. Both predictions are confirmed for the case of the U.S. as a potential intervening nation: (i) civil wars around the world are more likely under Republican governments and (ii) the probability of civil wars decreases with U.S. presidential approval rates.

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  • Facundo Albornoz & Esther Hauk, 2010. "Civil War and Foreign Influence," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 836.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 19 Dec 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:836.10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Antràs, Pol & Padró i Miquel, Gerard, 2011. "Foreign influence and welfare," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 135-148, July.
    2. Arindrajit Dube & Ethan Kaplan & Suresh Naidu, 2011. "Coups, Corporations, and Classified Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1375-1409.
    3. Sylvain Chassang & Gerard Padró I Miquel, 2010. "Conflict and Deterrence Under Strategic Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1821-1858.
    4. Aidt, Toke & Albornoz, Facundo & Gassebner, Martin, 2010. "The Golden Halo and Political Transitions," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 48, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    5. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
    6. Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2013. "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1384-1421.
    7. Daniel Berger & William Easterly & Nathan Nunn & Shanker Satyanath, 2013. "Commercial Imperialism? Political Influence and Trade during the Cold War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 863-896, April.
    8. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2010. "International Commodity Prices, Growth and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 519-534, May.
    9. T. Clifton Morgan & Kenneth N. Bickers, 1992. "Domestic Discontent and the External Use of Force," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 36(1), pages 25-52, March.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:02:p:541-566_18 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Albornoz, Facundo & Hauk, Esther, 2014. "Civil war and U.S. foreign influence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 64-78.

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