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The Geography of Inter-State Resource Wars

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  • Francesco Caselli
  • Massimo Morelli
  • Dominic Rohner

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2013. "The Geography of Inter-State Resource Wars," NBER Working Papers 18978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18978
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    Cited by:

    1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2016. "War and Relatedness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(5), pages 925-939, December.
    2. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:6:p:1564-1610 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jackson, Matthew O. & Nei, Stephen, 2014. "Networks of Military Alliances, Wars, and International Trade," Research Papers 3097, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    4. Badeeb, Ramez Abubakr & Lean, Hooi Hooi & Clark, Jeremy, 2017. "The evolution of the natural resource curse thesis: A critical literature survey," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 123-134.
    5. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2015. "Trade and insecure resources," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 98-114.
    6. 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.
    7. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2015. "Strategic Mass Killings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(5), pages 1087-1132.
    8. Stephan E. Maurer, 2018. "Oil Discoveries and Education Spending in the Postbellum South," CEP Discussion Papers dp1526, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Dziubinski, M. & Goyal, S. & Minarsch, D . E. N., 2017. "The Strategy of Conquest," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1704, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    10. Francesco Caselli & Andrea Tesei, 2016. "Resource Windfalls, Political Regimes, and Political Stability," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 573-590, July.
    11. Stefano Della Vigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2014. "Cross-Border Media and Nationalism: Evidence from Serbian Radio in Croatia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 103-132, July.
    12. Erik O. Kimbrough & Kevin Laughren & Roman Sheremeta, 2017. "War and Conflict in Economics: Theories, Applications, and Recent Trends," Discussion Papers dp17-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    13. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2012. "Resource Wars and Confiscation Risk," OxCarre Working Papers 097, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    14. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2017. "Rapacious Oil Exploration in face of Regime Switches: Breakthrough Renewable Energy and Dynamic Resource Wars," Development Working Papers 415, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 21 Feb 2017.
    15. Melisa Janet Luc, 2015. "Recursos naturales y delimitación de fronteras en América Latina en la primera globalización: una aproximación desde la Guerra del Acre," TIEMPO & ECONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD DE BOGOTA JORGE TADEO LOZANO, vol. 2(1), pages 69-88, June.
    16. Nicolas Berman & Mathieu Couttenier & Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig, 2017. "This Mine Is Mine! How Minerals Fuel Conflicts in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(6), pages 1564-1610, June.
    17. Morelli, Massimo & Rohner, Dominic, 2015. "Resource concentration and civil wars," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 32-47.
    18. Martínez, Luis R., 2017. "Transnational insurgents: Evidence from Colombia's FARC at the border with Chávez's Venezuela," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 138-153.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts

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