The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence

39 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2008 Last revised: 23 Jan 2009

Timothy J. Besley

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Torsten Persson

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2008

Abstract

This paper studies the incidence of civil war over time. We put forward a canonical model of civil war, which relates the incidence of conflict to circumstances, institutions and features of the underlying economy and polity. We use this model to derive testable predictions and to interpret the cross-sectional and times-series variations in civil conflict. Our most novel emprical finding is that higher world market prices of exported, as well as imported, commodities are strong and significant predictors of higher within-country incidence of civil war.

Suggested Citation

Besley, Timothy J. and Persson, Torsten, The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence (December 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14585. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1320831

Timothy J. Besley (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 6702 (Phone)
+44 20 7955 6951 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

Torsten Persson

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden
+46 8 163066 (Phone)
+46 8 164177 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
99
rank
116,759
Abstract Views
780
PlumX