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Poverty, Armed Conflict and Financial Instability

Civil conflict has far-reaching effects on underdeveloped economies. Whilst military expenditure may be diverted into projects that encourage human capital accumulation and the construction of essential infrastructure, conflict destroys institutions and infrastructure generating financial instability and exacerbating stagnation and underdevelopment. Vicious circles emerge as socioeconomic instability contributes to ongoing civil unrest and financial instability, in turn increasing the risk of future conflicts. In this paper, the relationships between conflict, finance and poverty are analysed by exploring the hypothesis that poverty and conflict are magnified by financial factors. Interactions between conflict, absolute poverty and finance are estimated using least squares and binary dependent variable techniques adapted to capture simultaneity, with heterogeneity captured using fixed effects techniques. The results suggest a strongly significant positive relationship between poverty and conflict; the risk of war is positively associated with financial factors suggesting that financial resources will influence poverty indirectly by increasing risks of conflict.

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File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe0857.pdf
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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0857.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0857
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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  10. Addison, Tony & Le Billon, Philippe & Murshed, S. Mansoob, 2001. "Finance in Conflict and Reconstruction," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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  12. Collier, Paul & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1995. "War, peace and private portfolios," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 233-241, February.
  13. Ohanian, Lee E, 1997. "The Macroeconomic Effects of War Finance in the United States: World War II and the Korean War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 23-40, March.
  14. Benoit, Emile, 1978. "Growth and Defense in Developing Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 271-80, January.
  15. Collier, Paul, 2008. "The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195374636, March.
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  17. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1995. "Revisiting the Sen Poverty Index," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1225-30, September.
  18. Goodhand, Jonathan, 2003. "Enduring Disorder and Persistent Poverty: A Review of the Linkages Between War and Chronic Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 629-646, March.
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