Greed and grievance in civil wars
We investigate the causes of civil war, using a new data set of wars during 1960-99. We test a `greed’ theory focusing on the ability to finance rebellion, against a `grievance’ theory focusing on ethnic and religious divisions, political repression and inequality. We find that greed considerably outperforms grievance. Consistent with the greed theory, both dependence upon primary commodity exports and a large diaspora substantially increase the risk of conflict. Inconsistent with the grievance theory, greater ethnic and religious diversity reduce the risk of conflict. The results are robust to correction for outliers, alternative variable definition, and variations in estimation method.
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