IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/76930.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Moralizing Gods and Armed Conflict

Author

Listed:
  • Skali, Ahmed

Abstract

This study documents a robust empirical pattern between moralizing gods, which prescribe fixed laws of morality, and conflict prevalence and fatalities, using spatially referenced data for Africa on contemporary conflicts and ancestral belief systems of individual ethnic groups prior to European contact. Moralizing gods are found to significantly increase conflict prevalence and casualties at the local level. The identification strategy draws on the evolutionary psychology roots of moralizing gods as a solution to the collective action problem in pre-modern societies. A one standard deviation increase in the likelihood of emergence of a moralizing god increases casualties by 18 to 36% and conflict prevalence by 4 to 8% approximately.

Suggested Citation

  • Skali, Ahmed, 2017. "Moralizing Gods and Armed Conflict," MPRA Paper 76930, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:76930
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/76930/1/MPRA_paper_76930.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
    2. Nathan Nunn, 2008. "The Long-term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 139-176.
    3. Christian Almer & Jeremy Laurent-Lucchetti & Manuel Oechslin, 2014. "Agricultural shocks and riots: A disaggregated analysis," Department of Economics Working Papers 24/14, University of Bath, Department of Economics.
    4. Augenblick, Ned & Cunha, Jesse M. & Dal Bó, Ernesto & Rao, Justin M., 2016. "The economics of faith: using an apocalyptic prophecy to elicit religious beliefs in the field," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 38-49.
    5. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Gerard Roland, 2011. "Which Dimensions of Culture Matter for Long-Run Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 492-498, May.
    6. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Presidential Address Institutions and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 255-294, 04-05.
    7. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Naghavi, Alireza & Prarolo, Giovanni, 2016. "Islam, inequality and pre-industrial comparative development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 86-98.
    8. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2016. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1802-1848, July.
    9. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
    10. Fearon, James D. & Laitin, David D., 2003. "Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 97(1), pages 75-90, February.
    11. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 379-414, July.
    12. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2012. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1508-1539, June.
    13. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2013. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 469-530.
    14. Jeremiah E. Dittmar, 2011. "Information Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of The Printing Press," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1133-1172.
    15. Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "A Theory of Brinkmanship, Conflicts, and Commitments," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 163-183, May.
    16. Ralph Sundberg & Erik Melander, 2013. "Introducing the UCDP Georeferenced Event Dataset," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 50(4), pages 523-532, July.
    17. Mariaflavia Harari & Eliana La Ferrara, 2012. "Conflict, Climate and Cells: A disaggregated analysis," Working Papers 461, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    18. Besley, Timothy & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2014. "The Legacy of Historical Conflict: Evidence from Africa," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 319-336, May.
    19. Mathieu Couttenier & Raphael Soubeyran, 2014. "Drought and Civil War In Sub‐Saharan Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(575), pages 201-244, March.
      • Couttenier, Mathieu & Hofstetter, Annie & Soubeyran, Raphael, 2013. "Drought and civil war in sub-Saharan Africa," INRAE Sciences Sociales, Institut national de recherche pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement (INRAE), Departement Sciences Sociales, Agriculture et Alimentation, Espace et Environnement (SAE2), vol. 2013, pages 1-6, March.
    20. Marshall Burke & John Dykema & David Lobell & Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath, 2010. "Climate and Civil War: Is the Relationship Robust?," NBER Working Papers 16440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Matthew Isaacs, 2016. "Sacred violence or strategic faith? Disentangling the relationship between religion and violence in armed conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 53(2), pages 211-225, March.
    22. Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2013. "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1384-1421.
    23. Hodler, Roland & Raschky, Paul A., 2014. "Economic shocks and civil conflict at the regional level," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 530-533.
    24. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2013. "Pre‐Colonial Ethnic Institutions and Contemporary African Development," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(1), pages 113-152, January.
    25. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2011. "Fertility and the Plough," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 499-503, May.
    26. Louis Putterman & David N. Weil, 2010. "Post-1500 Population Flows and The Long-Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1627-1682.
    27. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-3252, December.
    28. Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjöström, 2004. "Arms Races and Negotiations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 351-369.
    29. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2000. "Conflict without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 44(6), pages 793-807, December.
    30. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 169-203, January.
    31. Garfinkel, M.R. & Skaperdas, S., 2000. "Conflict without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: how the Future Matters," Papers 99-00-11, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    32. Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, 2007. "From Farmers to Merchants, Conversions and Diaspora: Human Capital and Jewish History," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 885-926, September.
    33. Nicola Gennaioli & Ilia Rainer, 2007. "The modern impact of precolonial centralization in Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 185-234, September.
    34. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
    35. İ. Semih Akçomak & Dinand Webbink & Bas Weel, 2016. "Why Did the Netherlands Develop So Early? The Legacy of the Brethren of the Common Life," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 821-860, June.
    36. Madsen, Jakob B. & Raschky, Paul A. & Skali, Ahmed, 2015. "Does democracy drive income in the world, 1500–2000?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 175-195.
    37. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 13938.
    38. Matthias Basedau & Birte Pfeiffer & Johannes Vüllers, 2016. "Bad Religion? Religion, Collective Action, and the Onset of Armed Conflict in Developing Countries," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 60(2), pages 226-255, March.
    39. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
    40. Ariel BenYishay & Pauline Grosjean & Joseph Vecci, 2015. "The Fish is the Friend of Matriliny: Reef Density Predicts Matrilineal Inheritance," Discussion Papers 2015-21, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    41. Alok K. Bohara & Neil J. Mitchell & Mani Nepal, 2006. "Opportunity, Democracy, and the Exchange of Political Violence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 50(1), pages 108-128, February.
    42. repec:hrv:faseco:33077826 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jetter, Michael & Mahmood, Rafat & Parmeter, Christopher F. & Ramirez Hassan, Andres, 2020. "Explaining Post-Cold-War Civil Conflict among 17 Billion Models: The Importance of History and Religion," IZA Discussion Papers 13511, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Nunn, Nathan, 2014. "Historical Development," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 7, pages 347-402, Elsevier.
    2. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2007. "Cultural Assimilation, Cultural Diffusion and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 6444, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Leander Heldring, 2019. "The Origins of Violence in Rwanda," HiCN Working Papers 299, Households in Conflict Network.
    4. Besley, Timothy & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2014. "The Legacy of Historical Conflict: Evidence from Africa," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 319-336, May.
    5. Cemal Eren Arbatlı & Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2020. "Diversity and Conflict," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 727-797, March.
    6. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2016. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1802-1848, July.
    7. Maseland, Robbert, 2021. "Contingent determinants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    8. James Fenske & Namrata Kala, 2012. "Climate, ecosystem resilience and the slave trade," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-23, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    9. Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio & Özak, Ömer, 2016. "The Origins and Long-Run Consequences of the Division of Labor," MPRA Paper 74703, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Lopez-Uribe, Maria del Pilar & Castells-Quintana, David & McDermott, Thomas K. J., 2017. "Geography, institutions and development: a review ofthe long-run impacts of climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65147, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
    12. Achim Ahrens, 2015. "Civil conflicts in Africa: Climate, economic shocks, nighttime lights and spill-over effects," SEEC Discussion Papers 1501, Spatial Economics and Econometrics Centre, Heriot Watt University.
    13. Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2017. "States and economic growth: Capacity and constraints," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-20.
    14. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2015. "Climate and the slave trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 19-32.
    15. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2020. "The origins of the division of labor in pre-industrial times," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 297-340, September.
    16. Anastasia Litina, 2016. "Natural land productivity, cooperation and comparative development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 351-408, December.
    17. Stoop, Nik & Verpoorten, Marijke & van der Windt, Peter, 2019. "Artisanal or industrial conflict minerals? Evidence from Eastern Congo," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 660-674.
    18. Ang, James B. & Gupta, Satyendra Kumar, 2018. "Agricultural yield and conflict," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 397-417.
    19. Eoin McGuirk & Marshall Burke, 2020. "The Economic Origins of Conflict in Africa," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(10), pages 3940-3997.
    20. Andrew Dickens, 2020. "Understanding Ethnolinguistic Differences: The Roles of Geography and Trade," Working Papers 1901, Brock University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2021.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; Commitment Problem; Religion; Africa; Cooperation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:76930. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joachim Winter (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.