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Growth, Democracy, and Civil War


  • Brückner, Markus
  • Ciccone, Antonio


Are civil wars partly caused by low economic growth? And do democratic institutions attenuate the impact of low growth on the likelihood of civil war? Our approach to answering these questions exploits that international commodity prices have a significant effect on income growth in Sub-Saharan African countries. We show that lower income growth makes civil war more likely in non-democracies. This effect is significantly weaker in democracies. So much so, that we do not find a link between growth and civil war in countries with democratic institutions. Our results therefore point to an interaction between economic and institutional causes of civil war.

Suggested Citation

  • Brückner, Markus & Ciccone, Antonio, 2007. "Growth, Democracy, and Civil War," CEPR Discussion Papers 6568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6568

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Besley, Timothy J. & Persson, Torsten, 2008. "The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Markus Brückner, 2010. "Population Size and Civil Conflict Risk: Is there a Causal Link?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 535-550, May.
    3. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War: A Review of Fifty Years of Research," Working Papers id:2231, eSocialSciences.
    4. 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.
    5. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.

    More about this item


    civil war; Commodity prices; growth; rainfall;

    JEL classification:

    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General

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