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Natural Resource Distribution and Multiple Forms of Civil War

  • Massimo Morelli
  • Dominic Rohner

We examine how natural resource location, rent sharing and fighting capacities of different groups matter for ethnic conflict. A new type of bargaining failure due to multiple types of potential conflicts (and hence multiple threat points) is identified. The theory predicts conflict to be more likely when the geographical distribution of natural resources is uneven and when a minority group has better chances to win a secessionist rather than a centrist conflict. For sharing rents, resource proportionality is salient in avoiding secessions and strength proportionality in avoiding centrist civil wars. We present empirical evidence that is consistent with the model.

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Paper provided by Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford in its series OxCarre Working Papers with number 050.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:050
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  1. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic Mass Killings," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 826.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2008. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 08-08, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  3. Frederick Van der Ploeg & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "War and Natural Resource Exploitation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3244, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Matthew O. Jackson & Massimo Morelli, 2007. "Political Bias and War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1353-1373, September.
  5. Acemoglu, Daron, 2003. "Why not a political Coase theorem? Social conflict, commitment, and politics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 620-652, December.
  6. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2015. "A Model of Ethnic Conflict," Working Papers 313, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. Joshua D. Angrist & Adriana Kugler, 2005. "Rural Windfall or a New Resource Curse? Coca, Income, and Civil Conflict in Colombia," NBER Working Papers 11219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  9. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2015. "Linking Conflict to Inequality and Polarization," Working Papers 377, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  10. Roland Hodler, 2004. "The Curse of Natural Resources in Fractionalized Countries," Diskussionsschriften dp0404, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  11. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2006. "Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War," CSAE Working Paper Series 2006-10, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  12. Grossman, Herschel I. & Mendoza, Juan, 2003. "Scarcity and appropriative competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 747-758, November.
  13. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  14. Paul Collier & Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Democracy, Development, and Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 531-540, 04-05.
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