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Extreme weather and civil war in Somalia: Does drought fuel conflict through livestock price shocks?

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  • Maystadt, Jean-Francois
  • Ecker, Olivier
  • Mabiso, Athur

Abstract

Climate change leads to more frequent and more intense droughts in Somalia. In a global context, weather shocks have been found to perpetuate poverty and fuel civil conflict. By relating regional and temporal variations in violent conflict outbreaks with drought incidence and severity, we show that this causality is valid also for Somalia at the local level. We find that livestock price shocks drive drought-induced conflicts through reducing the opportunity costs of conflict participation. Our estimation results indicate that a temperature rise of around 3.2 degrees Celsius—corresponding to the median Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario for eastern Africa by the end of the century—would lower cattle prices by about 4 percent and, in turn, increase the incidence of violent conflict by about 58 percent. Hence climate change will further aggravate Somalia’s security challenges and calls for decisive action to strengthen both drought and conflict resilience, especially in pastoralist and agropastoralist livelihoods.
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Suggested Citation

  • Maystadt, Jean-Francois & Ecker, Olivier & Mabiso, Athur, 2013. "Extreme weather and civil war in Somalia: Does drought fuel conflict through livestock price shocks?," IFPRI discussion papers 1243, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1243
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    Cited by:

    1. Lopez-Uribe, Maria del Pilar & Castells-Quintana, David & McDermott, Thomas K. J., 2017. "Geography, institutions and development: a review ofthe long-run impacts of climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65147, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Marshall Burke & Solomon M. Hsiang & Edward Miguel, 2015. "Climate and Conflict," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 577-617, August.
    3. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:1:p:195-232 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Faith Justus, 2015. "Coupled effects on Kenyan horticulture following the 2008/2009 post-election violence and the 2010 volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 76(2), pages 1205-1218, March.
    5. Jean-François Maystadt & Margherita Calderone & Liangzhi You, 2015. "Local warming and violent conflict in North and South Sudan," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 649-671.
    6. Solomon Hsiang & Marshall Burke & Edward Miguel, 2014. "Reconciling climate-conflict meta-analyses: reply to Buhaug et al," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 399-405, December.
    7. David Castells-Quintana & Maria del Pilar Lopez-Uribe & Tom McDermott, 2015. "Climate change and the geographical and institutional drivers of economic development," GRI Working Papers 198, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    8. Kibriya, Shahriar & Xu, Zhicheng P. & Zhang, Yu, 2015. "Economic shocks, governance and violence: A subnational level analysis of Africa," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205321, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    9. Massimiliano Calì & Alen Mulabdic, 2017. "Trade and civil conflict: Revisiting the cross-country evidence," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 195-232, February.
    10. Abidoye,Babatunde Oluwakayode & Cali,Massimiliano, 2015. "Income shocks and conflict : evidence from Nigeria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7213, The World Bank.
    11. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2013. "What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature," NBER Working Papers 19578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    Keywords

    civil war; Climate change; Conflict; drought; livestock; Prices;

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