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The Geography of Inter-State Resource Wars

  • Francesco Caselli
  • Massimo Morelli
  • Dominic Rohner

We establish a theoretical as well as empirical framework to assess the role of resource endowments and their geographic location for inter-State conflict. The main predictions of the theory are that conflict tends to be more likely when at least one country has natural resources; when the resources in the resource-endowed country are closer to the border; and, in the case where both countries have natural resources, when the resources are located asymmetrically vis-a-vis the border. We test these predictions on a novel dataset featuring oilfield distances from bilateral borders. The empirical analysis shows that the presence and location of oil are significant and quantitatively important predictors of inter-State conflicts after WW2.

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File URL: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/textes/13.06.pdf
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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 13.06.

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Length: 51pp. + tables (total 55 pp.)
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:13.06
Contact details of provider: Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
Email:


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  8. Lei, Yu-Hsiang & Michaels, Guy, 2014. "Do giant oilfield discoveries fuel internal armed conflicts?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 139-157.
  9. Anca M. Cotet & Kevin K. Tsui, 2013. "Oil and Conflict: What Does the Cross Country Evidence Really Show?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 49-80, January.
  10. Paola Conconi & Nicolas Sahuguet & Maurizio Zanardi, 2014. "Democratic Peace And Electoral Accountability," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 997-1028, 08.
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  12. Matthew O. Jackson & Massimo Morelli, 2007. "Political Bias and War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1353-1373, September.
  13. World Bank, 2009. "World Development Indicators 2009," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4367.
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  16. James D. Fearon, 1997. "Signaling Foreign Policy Interests," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 41(1), pages 68-90, February.
  17. Solomon William Polachek, 1980. "Conflict and Trade," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 24(1), pages 55-78, March.
  18. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
  19. Sandeep Baliga & David Lucca & Tomas Sjostrom, 2009. "Domestic Political Survival and International Conflict: Is Democracy Good for Peace?," Departmental Working Papers 200907, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  20. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
  21. Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2005. "Make Trade not War?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. 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.
  23. Päivi Lujala & Jan Ketil Rod & Nadja Thieme, 2007. "Fighting over Oil: Introducing a New Dataset," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 24(3), pages 239-256, July.
  24. Daniel M. Jones & Stuart A. Bremer & J. David Singer, 1996. "Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1816–1992: Rationale, Coding Rules, and Empirical Patterns," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 15(2), pages 163-213, September.
  25. Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2013. "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1384-1421.
  26. Erik Gartzke & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "The political economy of imperialism, decolonization, and development," IEW - Working Papers 466, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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