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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. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
  2. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 2006. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEPR Discussion Papers 5622, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2011. "Linking Conflict to Inequality and Polarization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1345-74, June.
  5. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic Mass Killings," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/23, European University Institute.
  6. Hodler, Roland, 2006. "The curse of natural resources in fractionalized countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1367-1386, August.
  7. Frederick Van der Ploeg & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "War and Natural Resource Exploitation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3244, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Angrist, Joshua & Kugler, Adriana, 2007. "Rural Windfall or a New Resource Curse? Coca, Income, and Civil Conflict in Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 2790, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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.
  10. Jackson, Matthew O. & Morelli, Massimo, . "Political bias and war," Working Papers 1247, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2007. "A Model of Ethnic Conflict," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 701.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  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. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  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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