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War and Relatedness

  • Enrico Spolaore
  • Romain Wacziarg

We examine the empirical relationship between the occurrence of inter-state conflicts and the degree of relatedness between countries, measured by genetic distance. We find that populations that are genetically closer are more prone to go to war with each other, even after controlling for numerous measures of geographic distance and other factors that affect conflict, including measures of trade and democracy. These findings are consistent with a framework in which conflict over rival and excludable goods (such as territory and resources) is more likely among populations that share more similar preferences, and inherit such preferences with variation from their ancestors.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0769.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0769
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