IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Globalization and Domestic Conflict


  • Michelle R. Garfinkel

    () (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Stergios Skaperdas

    () (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Constantinos Syropoulos

    () (Department of Economics and International Business, Drexel University)


We examine how globalization affects trade patterns and welfare when conflict prevails domestically. We do so in a simple model of trade, in which a natural resource like oil is contested by competing groups using real resources ("guns"). Thus, conflict is viewed as ultimately stemming from imperfect property-rights enforcement. When comparing autarky with free trade in such a setting, the gains from trade have to be weighed against the possibly higher resource costs of conflict. We find that importers of the contested resource gain unambiguously. By contrast, exporters of the contested resource lose under free trade, unless the world price of the resource is sufficiently high. Regardless of what price obtains in the world market, countries tend to over-export the contested resource relative to what we would observe if there were no conflict; for some range of prices, the presence of conflict even reverses the country’s comparative advantage. For an even wider range of prices, an increase in the international price of the contested resource reduces welfare, an instance of the "natural resource curse."

Suggested Citation

  • Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2006. "Globalization and Domestic Conflict," Working Papers 050601, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050601

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brander, James A. & Scott Taylor, M., 1998. "Open access renewable resources: Trade and trade policy in a two-country model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 181-209, April.
    2. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Global Environment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 851-874, September.
    3. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 1-20, January.
    4. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pedro Dal Bó, 2011. "Workers, Warriors, And Criminals: Social Conflict In General Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 646-677, August.
    5. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1982. "Directly Unproductive, Profit-seeking (DUP) Activities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 988-1002, October.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:75-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Rodrik, Dani, 1999. "Where Did All the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 385-412, December.
    9. Hodler, Roland, 2006. "The curse of natural resources in fractionalized countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1367-1386, August.
    10. Jose Luis Evia & Roberto Laserna & Stergios Skaperdas, 2008. "Socio-Political Conflict and Eonomic Performance in Bolivia," Working Papers 070814, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    11. Gregory D. Hess, 2002. "The Economic Welfare Cost of Conflict: An Empirical Assessment," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-08, Claremont Colleges.
    12. Shogren, Jason & Margolis, Michael, 2002. "Unprotected Resources and Voracious World Markets," Discussion Papers dp-02-30, Resources For the Future.
    13. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    14. Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar & Verdier, Thierry, 2006. "Political foundations of the resource curse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 447-468, April.
    15. Bhagwati, Jagdish N & Srinivasan, T N, 1982. "Revenue Seeking: A Generalization of the Theory of Tariffs-A Correction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 188-190, February.
    16. Bhagwati, Jagdish N & Srinivasan, T N, 1980. "Revenue Seeking: A Generalization of the Theory of Tariffs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(6), pages 1069-1087, December.
    17. Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2001. "Guns, Butter, and Openness: On the Relationship between Security and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 353-357, May.
    18. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
    19. Katherine Barbieri & Gerald Schneider, 1999. "Globalization and Peace: Assessing New Directions in the Study of Trade and Conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 36(4), pages 387-404, July.
    20. Michael L. Ross, 2004. "What Do We Know about Natural Resources and Civil War?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 41(3), pages 337-356, May.
    21. Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2002. "Insecure Property and the Efficiency of Exchange," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 133-146, January.
    22. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938.
    23. Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 2004. "In Defense of Globalization: It Has a Human Face," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 94(6), pages 9-20, November-.
    24. Hotte, Louis & Long, Ngo Van & Tian, Huilan, 2000. "International trade with endogenous enforcement of property rights," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 25-54, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Globalization; Trade openness; Property rights; Enforcement; Insecurity; Civil wars;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050601. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jennifer dos Santos). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.