Natural Resources and Violent Conflict: Resource Abundance, Dependence, and the Onset of Civil Wars

Posted: 23 Sep 2009

See all articles by Christa N. Brunnschweiler

Christa N. Brunnschweiler

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Department of Economics; University of Oxford - OxCarre

Erwin H. Bulte

Tilburg University - Department of Economics; Wageningen University

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Date Written: October 2009

Abstract

In this paper we examine the claim that natural resources invite civil conflict, and challenge the main stylized facts in this literature. We find that the conventional measure of resource dependence is endogenous with respect to conflict, and that instrumenting for dependence implies that it is no longer significant in conflict regressions. Instead, it appears that conflict increases dependence on resource extraction (as a default sector). Moreover, resource abundance is associated with a reduced probability of the onset of war. These results are robust to a range of specifications and, considering the conflict channel, we conclude there is no reason to regard resources as a general curse to peace and development.

JEL Classification: Q34, O11, N40, N50

Suggested Citation

Brunnschweiler, Christa N. and Bulte, Erwin H., Natural Resources and Violent Conflict: Resource Abundance, Dependence, and the Onset of Civil Wars (October 2009). Oxford Economic Papers, Vol. 61, Issue 4, pp. 651-674, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1477247 or http://dx.doi.org/gpp024

Christa N. Brunnschweiler (Contact Author)

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Department of Economics ( email )

N-7491 Trondheim
Norway

University of Oxford - OxCarre ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Erwin H. Bulte

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 9111 (Phone)

Wageningen University

Hollandseweg 1
6706 KN
Wageningen
Netherlands

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