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Aiding Conflict: The Impact of U.S. Food Aid on Civil War

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  • Nathan Nunn
  • Nancy Qian

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of U.S. food aid on conflict in recipient countries. To establish a causal relationship, we exploit time variation in food aid caused by fluctuations in U.S. wheat production together with cross-sectional variation in a country's tendency to receive any food aid from the United States. Our estimates show that an increase in U.S. food aid increases the incidence, onset and duration of civil conflicts in recipient countries. Our results suggest that the effects are larger for smaller scale civil conflicts. No effect is found on interstate warfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2012. "Aiding Conflict: The Impact of U.S. Food Aid on Civil War," NBER Working Papers 17794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17794
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Aid wars
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-05-27 12:03:12
    2. Aid wars
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-05-27 12:03:12

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    Cited by:

    1. Khanna, Gaurav & Zimmermann, Laura, 2017. "Guns and butter? Fighting violence with the promise of development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 120-141.
    2. Dreher, Axel & Minasyan, Anna & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2013. "Government ideology in donor and recipient countries: Does political proximity matter for the effectiveness of aid?," Kiel Working Papers 1870, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    3. Janus, Thorsten & Riera-Crichton, Daniel, 2015. "Economic shocks, civil war and ethnicity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 32-44.
    4. Buchholz, Manuel & Schmidt, Kirsten & Tonzer, Lena, 2020. "Do conventional monetary policy instruments matter in unconventional times?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    5. Axel Dreher & Vera Eichenauer & Kai Gehring & Vera Z. Eichenauer, 2013. "Geopolitics, Aid and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 4299, CESifo.
    6. Christopher Coyne & Abigail Hall, 2014. "The empire strikes back: Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and the Robust Political Economy of empire," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 359-385, December.
    7. Hull, Peter & Imai, Masami, 2013. "Economic shocks and civil conflict: Evidence from foreign interest rate movements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 77-89.
    8. Dreher, Axel & Minasyan, Anna & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2015. "Government ideology in donor and recipient countries: Does ideological proximity matter for the effectiveness of aid?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 80-92.
    9. Maystadt, Jean-François & Trinh Tan, Jean-François & Breisinger, Clemens, 2014. "Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 106-115.
    10. Anna Minasyan & Peter Nunnenkamp, 2016. "Remittances and the Effectiveness of Foreign Aid," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 681-701, August.
    11. Giménez-Gómez, José-Manuel & Zergawu, Yitagesu-Zewdu, 2018. "The impact of social heterogeneity and commodity price shocks on civil conflicts," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 959-997.
    12. Bergh, Andreas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2016. "Burying the Bumblebee Once and for All:," Working Paper Series 1119, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    13. Giménez Gómez, José M. (José Manuel), 2016. "Linking social heterogeneity and commodity price shocks to civil conflicts," Working Papers 2072/290744, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    14. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Dimico, Arcangelo, 2013. "The Evolution of Conflict and Effectiveness of Aid," MPRA Paper 47050, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Jean-Francois Maystadt & Olivier Ecker & Athur Mabiso, 2013. "Extreme Weather and Civil War in Somalia: Does Drought Fuel Conflict through Livestock Price Shocks?," LICOS Discussion Papers 32613, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    17. Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza & Michael Jetter & Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo, 2016. "Polarized Education Levels and Civil War," CESifo Working Paper Series 6267, CESifo.
    18. Gračner, Tadeja, 2021. "Bittersweet: How prices of sugar-rich foods contribute to the diet-related disease epidemic in Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • H84 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Disaster Aid

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