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Export Crops and Civil Conflict

Author

Listed:
  • Joseph H. Felter

    (Stanford University)

  • Benjamin Crost

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

Many governments and international experts consider a move towards high-value export crops, such as fruits and vegetables, as an important opportunity for economic growth and poverty reduction. Little is known, however, about the effects of export crops in fragile and conflict- affected countries. We exploit movements in world market prices combined with geographic variation in crop intensity to provide evidence that increases in the value of a major export crop exacerbate conflict violence in the Philippines. We further show that this effect is concentrated in areas with low baseline insurgent control. In areas with high insurgent control, a rise in crop value leads to a decrease in violence but a further expansion of rebel-controlled territory. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that insurgents gain strength from extorting agricultural exporters and that insurgent strength has a non-monotonic effect on conflict violence because strong insurgent groups can establish local monopolies of violence.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph H. Felter & Benjamin Crost, 2016. "Export Crops and Civil Conflict," Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC) Working Papers 4, Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:esocpu:4
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    File URL: https://esoc.princeton.edu/wp4
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin-Shields, Charles P. & Stojetz, Wolfgang, 2019. "Food security and conflict: Empirical challenges and future opportunities for research and policy making on food security and conflict," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 150-164.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Philippines; Export Crops; Civil Conflict; Insurgent Control; Bananas;

    JEL classification:

    • N55 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Asia including Middle East
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions

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