Economic shocks and civil conflict: A comment
Miguel, Satyanath, and Sergenti (2004) argue that lower rainfall levels and negative rainfall shocks increase conflict risk in Sub-Saharan Africa. This conclusion rests on their finding of a negative correlation between conflict in t and rainfall growth between t-1 and t-2. I argue that this finding is driven by a positive correlation between conflict in t and rainfall levels in t-2. If lower rainfall levels or negative rainfall shocks increased conflict, one might have expected MSS’s finding to reflect a negative correlation between conflict in t and rainfall levels in t-1. In the latest data, conflict is unrelated to rainfall.
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