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Natural Resources and Violent Conflict: Resource abundance, dependence and the onset of civil wars

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  • Christa N Brunnschweiler
  • Erwin H Bulte

Abstract

In this paper we examine the claim that natural resources invite civil conflict, and challenge the main stylized facts in this literature. We find that the conventional measure of resource dependence is endogenous with respect to conflict, and that instrumenting for dependence implies that it is no longer significant in conflict regressions. Instead, it appears that conflict increases dependence on resource extraction (as a default sector). Moreover,resource abundance is associated with a reduced probability of the onset of war. These results are robust to a range of specifications and, considering the conflict channel, we conclude there is no reason to regard resources as a general curse to peace and development.

Suggested Citation

  • Christa N Brunnschweiler & Erwin H Bulte, 2009. "Natural Resources and Violent Conflict: Resource abundance, dependence and the onset of civil wars," OxCarre Working Papers 018, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:018
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    File URL: http://www.oxcarre.ox.ac.uk/images/stories/papers/ResearchPapers/oxcarrerp200918.pdf
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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:04:p:709-725_07 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Habyarimana, James P. & Humphreys, Macartan & Posner, Daniel N. & Weinstein, Jeremy, 2006. "Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision? An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2272, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civil war; resource abundance; resource dependence; greed versus grievance; resource curse.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative

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