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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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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/1127.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1127.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision: Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1127
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
  2. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
  3. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
  4. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
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