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Drought and Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Mathieu Couttenier
  • Raphael Soubeyran

Abstract

We show that civil war is strongly related to drought in sub-Saharan Africa. We consider the e ect of variations in the Palmer Drought Severity Index (Palmer 1965) - a cumulative index that combines precipitation, temperature and the local characteristics of the soil - on the risk of civil war. While the recent, contentious debate on the link between climate and civil war has mainly focused on precipitation and temperature, without obtaining converging results, the Palmer index describes social exposure to water stress in a more ecient way. We show that it is a key factor of civil war in sub-Saharan Africa and that this result is robust to various speci cations and passes a series of sensitivity tests. Also, our results indicate that agriculture, ethnic diversity and institutional quality are important factors to link climate and civil war.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathieu Couttenier & Raphael Soubeyran, 2010. "Drought and Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 10-13, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Dec 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:10-13
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    File URL: http://www.lameta.univ-montp1.fr/Documents/DR2010-13.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:75-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Peter Sandholt Jensen & Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, 2009. "Rain, Growth, And Civil War: The Importance Of Location," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(5), pages 359-372, October.
    4. Marshall Burke & John Dykema & David Lobell & Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath, 2010. "Climate and Civil War: Is the Relationship Robust?," NBER Working Papers 16440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    6. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    7. John Landon-Lane & Hugh Rockoff & Richard H. Steckel, 2011. "Droughts, Floods and Financial Distress in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Climate Change: Adaptations Past and Present, pages 73-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath, 2011. "Re-examining Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 228-232, October.
    9. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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