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Ethnicity and the spread of civil war

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  • Bosker, Maarten
  • de Ree, Joppe

Abstract

Civil wars critically hinder a country's development process. This paper shows that civil wars can also have severe international consequences. Anecdotal evidence highlights that civil wars sometimes spill over international boundaries. Using a more rigorous econometric approach we provide evidence that conflict spillovers are indeed quantitatively very important. Also, they are context dependent. Ethnicity in particular plays a key role in the spread of civil war. Only ethnic civil wars spill over, and only along ethnic lines. We do not find evidence that poor, ethnically heterogenous, or less populous countries are more or less susceptible to spillovers. Ethnic links to a neighbor at ethnic civil war increase the probability of an outbreak of ethnic civil war at home by 6 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Bosker, Maarten & de Ree, Joppe, 2010. "Ethnicity and the spread of civil war," CEPR Discussion Papers 8055, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8055
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    Cited by:

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    2. Richard Bluhm & Martin Gassebner & Sarah Langlotz & Paul Schaudt, 2021. "Fueling conflict? (De)escalation and bilateral aid," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(2), pages 244-261, March.
    3. Silve, Arthur & Verdier, Thierry, 2018. "A theory of regional conflict complexes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 434-447.
    4. Rademakers, Robbert & van Hoorn, André, 2021. "Ethnic switching: Longitudinal evidence on prevalence, correlates, and implications for measuring ethnic segregation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
    5. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2016. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1802-1848, July.
    6. Carmignani, Fabrizio & Kler, Parvinder, 2016. "The geographical spillover of armed conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 109-119.
    7. Roberto Ezcurra & Beatriz Manotas, 2015. "Does globalization promote civil war? An empirical research," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 1501, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
    8. Margarita Konaev & Kirstin J.H. Brathwaite, 2019. "Dangerous neighborhoods: State behavior and the spread of ethnic conflict," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 36(5), pages 447-468, September.
    9. Carmignani, Fabrizio & Kler, Parvinder, 2016. "Surrounded by wars: Quantifying the role of spatial conflict spillovers," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 7-16.
    10. Delprato, Marcos & Akyeampong, Kwame & Sabates, Ricardo & Hernandez-Fernandez, Jimena, 2015. "On the impact of early marriage on schooling outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 42-55.
    11. Carolyn Chisadza & Manoel Bittencourt, 2016. "Globalisation and Conflict: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 201640, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    12. Chang Woon Nam & Jan Schumacher, 2013. "Dynamics and Time Scope of Post War Recovery Required for Compensating Civil War Economic Losses," CESifo Working Paper Series 4361, CESifo.
    13. Jean Lacroix, 2020. "Ballots instead of Bullets? The effect of the Voting Rights Act on political violence," Working Papers CEB 20-007, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    14. Becken, Susanne & Carmignani, Fabrizio, 2016. "Does tourism lead to peace?," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 63-79.
    15. Chang Woon Nam & Jan Schumacher, 2014. "Dynamics and Time Frame of Post War Recovery Required for Compensating Civil War Economic Losses," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(3), pages 79-87, August.
    16. Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza & Christopher Cotton & Michael Jetter & Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo, 2019. "Polarized education levels and civil unrest," Working Paper 1417, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    17. Fabrizio Carmignani & Parvinder Kler, 2017. "The spillover of war in time and space: exploring some open issues," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(3), pages 273-288, January.
    18. Sharma, Hari & Gibson, John, 2020. "Escalation of civil war in Nepal: The role of poverty, inequality and caste polarisation," MPRA Paper 101450, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2020. "Historical Legacies and African Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(1), pages 53-128, March.
    20. Liang, Weidong & Sim, Nicholas, 2019. "Did rainfall shocks cause civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa? The implications of data revisions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    21. Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza & Michael Jetter & Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo, 2016. "Polarized Education Levels and Civil War," CESifo Working Paper Series 6267, CESifo.
    22. Roberto Ezcurra & Beatriz Manotas, 2017. "Is there a link between globalisation and civil conflict?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(12), pages 2592-2610, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    civil war; conflict spillovers; ethnicity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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