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The Nature of Conflict

Author

Listed:
  • Cemal Eren Arbatli
  • Quamrul H. Ashraf
  • Oded Galor

Abstract

This research establishes that the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrastate conflicts in the modern era reflect the long shadow of prehistory. Exploiting variations across national populations, it demonstrates that genetic diversity, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, has contributed significantly to the frequency, incidence, and onset of both overall and ethnic civil conflict over the last half-century, accounting for a large set of geographical and institutional correlates of conflict, as well as measures of economic development. Furthermore, the analysis establishes the significant contribution of genetic diversity to the intensity of social unrest and to the incidence of intragroup factional conflict. These findings arguably reflect the contribution of genetic diversity to the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups in the national population; the adverse influence of genetic diversity on interpersonal trust and cooperation; the contribution of genetic diversity to divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies; and the potential impact of genetic diversity on economic inequality within a society.

Suggested Citation

  • Cemal Eren Arbatli & Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2015. "The Nature of Conflict," NBER Working Papers 21079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21079
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2016. "The Origins and Long-Run Consequences of the Division of Labor," Departmental Working Papers 1610, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    2. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2015. "Ancestry, Language and Culture," NBER Working Papers 21242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio & Özak, Ömer, 2015. "Population Diversity, Division of Labor and the Emergence of Trade and State," MPRA Paper 69565, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 101-138, June.
    5. repec:eee:exehis:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:1-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio & Özak, Ömer, 2018. "The Origins of the Division of Labor in Pre-modern Times," MPRA Paper 84894, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Enrico Spolaore, 2014. "The Political Economy of European Integration," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0778, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    8. Samuel Bazzi & Matthew Gudgeon, "undated". "Local Government Proliferation, Diversity, and Conflict," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-271, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    9. Seiffert, Sebastian Daniel & Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2016. "Gun Violence in the US: Correlates and Causes," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145946, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2017. "Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(9), pages 2479-2513, September.
    11. Gershman, Boris, 2016. "Witchcraft beliefs and the erosion of social capital: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 182-208.
    12. Dombi, Akos & Grigoriadis, Theocharis, 2017. "Ancestry, Diversity & Finance: Evidence from Transition Economies," Discussion Papers 2017/4, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    13. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2016. "Population Diversity, Division of Labor and Comparative Development," Departmental Working Papers 1605, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    14. Remi Jedwab & Mark Koyama & Noel Johnson, "undated". "Negative Shocks and Mass Persecutions: Evidence from the Black Death," Working Papers 2017-4, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    15. Erkan Goeren, 2017. "The Role of Novelty-Seeking Traits in Contemporary Knowledge Creation," Working Papers V-402-17, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2017.
    16. Faria, Hugo J. & Montesinos-Yufa, Hugo M. & Morales, Daniel R. & Navarro, Carlos E., 2016. "Unbundling the roles of human capital and institutions in economic development," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 108-128.
    17. Jonathan J Adams, 2017. "The Rise and Fall of Armies," Working Papers 001002, University of Florida, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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