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Population Size and Civil Conflict Risk: Is There A Causal Link?

  • Markus Bruckner

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

Does an expansion of the population size expose nation states to a higher risk of suffering from civil conflict? Obtaining empirical evidence for a causal relationship is difficult due to reverse effects and omitted variable bias. This paper addresses causality issues by using randomly occurring drought as an instrumental variable to generate exogenous variation in population size for a panel of 37 Sub-Saharan countries over the period 1981- 2004. Instrumental variable estimates yield that a one percentage point increase in population size raises the risk of civil conflict by over 5.2 percentage points.

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Paper provided by Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 211.

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Length: 0 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2009211
Contact details of provider: Postal: Espai de Recerca en Economia, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques. Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona. Spain.
Web page: http://www.ere.ub.es
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  1. Enrico Spolaore, 2008. "Civil conflict and secessions," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 45-63, January.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 2005. "War, peace, and the size of countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1333-1354, July.
  3. Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2006. "Conflict, Defense Spending, and the Number of Nations," Scholarly Articles 4553016, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  5. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and Grievance in Civil War," Development and Comp Systems 0409007, EconWPA.
  6. Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 215-27, October.
  7. Heston, Alan, 1994. "A brief review of some problems in using national accounts data in level of output comparisons and growth studies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 29-52, June.
  8. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2009. "International Commodity Prices, Growth, and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2009-37, FEDEA.
  9. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
  10. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
  11. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
  12. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," NBER Working Papers 9822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Jose G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2007. "Fighting against Malaria: Prevent Wars while Waiting for the "Miraculous" Vaccine," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 165-177, February.
  15. Brückner, Markus & Ciccone, Antonio, 2007. "Growth, Democracy, and Civil War," CEPR Discussion Papers 6568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Fuller, Wayne A, 1977. "Some Properties of a Modification of the Limited Information Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 939-53, May.
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