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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. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEP Discussion Papers dp0732, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Frederick van der Ploeg & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "War and natural resource exploitation," IEW - Working Papers 481, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Joan Mª Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2005. "A Model of Ethnic Conflict," Working Papers 253, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic mass killings," IEW - Working Papers 486, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  9. Jackson, Matthew O. & Morelli, Massimo, . "Political bias and war," Working Papers 1247, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  10. Hodler, Roland, 2006. "The curse of natural resources in fractionalized countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1367-1386, August.
  11. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2009. "Linking Conflict to Inequality and Polarization," Working Papers 377, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  12. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Why Not a Political Coase Theorem? Social Conflict, Commitment and Politics," NBER Working Papers 9377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Grossman, Herschel I. & Mendoza, Juan, 2003. "Scarcity and appropriative competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 747-758, November.
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