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Natural resource distribution and multiple forms of civil war

  • Massimo Morelli
  • Dominic Rohner

We examine how natural resource location, rent sharing and fighting capacities of different groups matter for ethnic conflict. A new type of bargaining failure due to multiple types of potential conflicts (and hence multiple threat points) is identified. The theory predicts conflict to be more likely when the geographical distribution of natural resources is uneven and when a minority group has better chances to win a secessionist rather than a centrist conflict. For sharing rents, resource proportionality is salient in avoiding secessions and strength proportionality in avoiding centrist civil wars. We present empirical evidence that is consistent with the model.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 498.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:498
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  1. Jackson, Matthew O. & Morelli, Massimo, . "Political bias and war," Working Papers 1247, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Hodler, Roland, 2006. "The curse of natural resources in fractionalized countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1367-1386, August.
  3. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2007. "A Model of Ethnic Conflict," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 701.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  4. Rick van der Ploeg & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "War and Natural Resource Exploitation," OxCarre Working Papers 042, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  5. Paul Collier & Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Democracy, Development, and Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 531-540, 04-05.
  6. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2009. "Beyond greed and grievance: feasibility and civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 1-27, January.
  7. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic Mass Killings," HiCN Working Papers 78, Households in Conflict Network.
  8. Angrist, Joshua & Kugler, Adriana, 2007. "Rural Windfall or a New Resource Curse? Coca, Income, and Civil Conflict in Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 2790, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron, 2003. "Why not a political Coase theorem? Social conflict, commitment, and politics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 620-652, December.
  11. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  12. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2008. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 08-08, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  13. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2009. "Linking Conflict to Inequality and Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 766.09, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 25 Mar 2010.
  14. Grossman, Herschel I. & Mendoza, Juan, 2003. "Scarcity and appropriative competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 747-758, November.
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