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Civil Wars and International Trade

Author

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  • Martin, Philippe
  • Mayer, Thierry
  • Thoenig, Mathias

Abstract

This paper analyzes empirically the relationship between civil wars and international trade. We first show that trade destruction due to civil wars is very large and persistent and increases with the severity of the conflict. We then test the presence of two effects that trade can have on the risk of civil conflicts: it may act as a deterrent if trade gains are put at risk during civil wars but it may also act as an insurance if international trade provides a substitute to internal trade during civil wars. We find support for the presence of these two mechanisms and conclude that trade openness may deter the most severe civil wars (those that destroy the largest amount of trade) but may increase the risk of lower scale conflicts.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2008. "Civil Wars and International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6659, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6659
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
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    5. Paul Collier & Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Democracy, Development, and Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 531-540, 04-05.
    6. Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2008. "Make Trade Not War?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 865-900.
    7. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2004. "Economic determinants of free trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 29-63, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    civil war; globalization; trade;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other

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