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Environmental Depletion, Governance and Conflict

  • Horatiu Rus

    (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)

The link between natural resource dependence and internal conflict has been approached from a variety of angles in a large and growing interdisciplinary literature. While there is an expanding consensus as to what matters the most for such intra-state violence episodes, the feasibility - discontent dichotomy still appears to characterize a disciplinary divide between economists and political scientists. This paper attempts to help bridge the gap by allowing for both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of potential rebels. Simple non-cooperative bargaining yields a nonlinear impact of regulatory quality on the likelihood of conflict and shows that corruption and resource depletion jointly affect the outcome. The empirical analysis that follows looks at the effect of environmental depletion and government corruption on the emergence of civil conflicts using a large panel dataset. Resource depletion, the quality of governance and their interaction are found to be significant determinants of civil conflictincidence. Results are robust to several steps taken to address potential endogeneity concerns.

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Paper provided by University of Waterloo, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1007.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision: May 2010
Handle: RePEc:wat:wpaper:1007
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