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The Geography of Inter-State Resource Wars

  • Francesco Caselli
  • Massimo Morelli
  • Dominic Rohner

We establish a theoretical as well as empirical framework to assess the role of resource endowments and their geographic location for inter-State conflict. The main predictions of the theory are that conflict tends to be more likely when at least one country has natural resources; when the resources in the resource-endowed country are closer to the border; and, in the case where both countries have natural resources, when the resources are located asymmetrically vis-a-vis the border. We test these predictions on a novel dataset featuring oilfield distances from bilateral borders. The empirical analysis shows that the presence and location of oil are significant and quantitatively important predictors of inter-State conflicts after WW2.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1212.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1212
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  17. Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2001. "Guns, Butter, and Openness: On the Relationship between Security and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 353-357, May.
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  22. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The origins of state capacity: property rights, taxation and politics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33768, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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