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Aiding Conflict: The Impact of U.S. Food Aid on Civil War

  • Nunn, Nathan
  • Qian, Nancy

This paper examines the effect of U.S. food aid on conflict in recipient countries. To establish a causal relationship, we exploit time variation in food aid caused by fluctuations in U.S. wheat production together with cross-sectional variation in a country's tendency to receive any food aid from the United States. Our estimates show that an increase in U.S. food aid increases the incidence, onset and duration of civil conflicts in recipient countries. Our results suggest that the effects are larger for smaller scale civil conflicts. No effect is found on interstate warfare.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8799.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8799
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  1. 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.
  2. Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2014. "The Determinants of Food Aid Provisions to Africa and the Developing World," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes: Sustainable Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. J. de Ree & E. Nillesen, 2006. "Aiding Violence or Peace? The Impact of Foreign Aid on the Risk of Civil Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 06-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
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  14. James D. Fearon, 2004. "Why Do Some Civil Wars Last So Much Longer than Others?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 41(3), pages 275-301, May.
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  17. Abdulai, Awudu & Barrett, Christopher B. & Hoddinott, John, 2005. "Does food aid Really have disincentive effects? New evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1689-1704, October.
  18. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke & Soderbom, Mans, 2001. "On the duration of civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2681, The World Bank.
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