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Civil War, Climate Change and Development: A Scenario Study for Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Devitt, Conor
  • Tol, Richard S. J.

Abstract

We construct a model of development, civil war, and climate change. There are multiple interactions. Economic growth reduces the probability of civil war and the vulnerability to climate change. Climate change increases the probability of civil war. The impacts of climate change, civil war, and civil war in the neighbouring countries reduce economic growth. The model has two potential poverty traps ? a climate-change-induced one and a civil-war-induced one ? and the two poverty traps may reinforce one another. We calibrate the model to Sub-Saharan Africa and conduct a double Monte Carlo analysis accounting for both parameter uncertainty and stochasticity. We find the following. Although we use the SRES scenarios as our baseline, and thus assume rapid economic growth in Africa and convergence of African living standards to the rest of the world, the impact of civil war and climate change (ignored in SRES) are sufficiently strong to keep a number of countries in Africa in deep poverty with a high probability. Other countries enjoy exponential growth; and some countries may either be trapped in poverty or experience rapid growth. The SRES scenarios were wrong to ignore the impact of climate change and civil war on economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Devitt, Conor & Tol, Richard S. J., 2010. "Civil War, Climate Change and Development: A Scenario Study for Sub-Saharan Africa," Papers WP351, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp351
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:6:p:976-:d:100807 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Richard Tol, 2013. "Low probability, high impact: the implications of a break-up of China for carbon dioxide emissions," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(4), pages 961-970, April.
    3. Richard S.J. Tol, 2012. "The Implications of a Break-Up of China for Carbon Dioxide Emissions," Working Paper Series 3912, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    4. Exenberger Andreas & Pondorfer Andreas, 2013. "Climate Change and the Risk of Mass Violence: Africa in the 21st Century," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 381-392, December.
    5. Drago Bergholt & Päivi Lujala, 2012. "Climate-related natural disasters, economic growth, and armed civil conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 147-162, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    civil war/climate change/economic development/Climate change/growth/Impacts of climate change/poverty/scenarios/uncertainty;

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