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Civil Wars and International Trade

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

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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6659.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6659
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  1. Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2005. "Make Trade not War?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2006. "Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2006-10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. John Romalis, 2005. "NAFTA's and CUSFTA's Impact on International Trade," NBER Working Papers 11059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  5. S. Brock Blomberg & Gregory D. Hess, 2006. "How Much Does Violence Tax Trade?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 599-612, November.
  6. 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.
  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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