Economic Shocks and Conflict: The (Absence of?) Evidence from Commodity Price- Working Paper 274
One of the most influential ideas in the study of political instability is that income shocks provoke conflict. “State prize” theories argue that higher revenues increase incentives to capture the state. “Opportunity cost” theories argue that higher prices decrease individual incen-tives to revolt. Both mechanisms are central to leading models of state development and collapse. But are they wellfounded? We examine the effects of exogenous commodity price shocks on conflict and coups, and find little evidence in favor of either theory. Evidence runs especially against the state as prize. We do find weak evidence that the intensity of fighting falls as prices rise—results more consistent with the idea that revenues augment state capacity, not prize-seeking or opportunity cost. Nevertheless, the evidence for any of these income-conflict mecha-nisms is weak at best. We argue that errors and publication bias have likely distorted the theoret-ical and empirical literature on political instability.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010.
"Natural resource distribution and multiple forms of civil war,"
IEW - Working Papers
498, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Natural Resource Distribution and Multiple Forms of Civil War," HiCN Working Papers 80, Households in Conflict Network.
- Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Natural Resource Distribution and Multiple Forms of Civil War," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/33, European University Institute.
- Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Natural Resource Distribution and Multiple Forms of Civil War," OxCarre Working Papers 050, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
- Alberto Alesina & Sule Ozler & Nouriel Roubini & Phillip Swagel, 1992.
"Political Instability and Economic Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
4173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2009.
"Linking Conflict to Inequality and Polarization,"
UFAE and IAE Working Papers
766.09, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 25 Mar 2010.
- Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2007.
"International commodity prices, growth and the outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa,"
Economics Working Papers
1053, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2009.
- 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, 05.
- Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2009. "International Commodity Prices, Growth, and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2009-37, FEDEA.
- Timothy J. Besley & Torsten Persson, 2008.
"The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence,"
NBER Working Papers
14585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Persson, Torsten, 2008. "The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 005, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Beck, Nathaniel & Katz, Jonathan N., . "Modeling dynamics in time-series-cross-section political economy data," Working Papers 1304, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Deaton, A. & Laroque, G., 1989.
"On The Behavior Of Commodity Prices,"
145, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009.
NBER Working Papers
14801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "Civil War," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt90n356hs, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Anca M. Cotet & Kevin K. Tsui, 2013.
"Oil and Conflict: What Does the Cross Country Evidence Really Show?,"
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 49-80, January.
- Anca Cotet & Kevin K. Tsui, 2010. "Oil and Conflict: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," Working Papers 201002, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2010.
- Angus Deaton, 1999.
"Commodity Prices and Growth in Africa,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 23-40, Summer.
- 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.
- Ghoshray, Atanu, 2011. "A reexamination of trends in primary commodity prices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 242-251, July.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999.
"A Theory of Political Transitions,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
- Robert Bates & Avner Greif & Smita Singh, 2002. "Organizing Violence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(5), pages 599-628, October.
- Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2008. "On the Salience of Ethnic Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2185-2202, December.
- Chassang, Sylvain & Miquel, Gerard PadrÃ³ i, 2009. "Economic Shocks and Civil War," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 4(3), pages 211-228, October.
- Jos� G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2005. "Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict, and Civil Wars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 796-816, June.
- Jonathan M Powell & Clayton L Thyne, 2011. "Global instances of coups from 1950 to 2010: A new dataset," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 48(2), pages 249-259, March.
- Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
- Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
- Bevan, David & Collier, Paul & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1993. "Trade shocks in developing countries: Consequences and policy responses," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 557-565, April.
- 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.
- José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2004. "Ethnic polarization, potential conflict and civil wars," Economics Working Papers 770, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2005.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:274. 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: (David Roodman)The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask David Roodman to update the entry or send us the correct address
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.