Population Size and Civil Conflict Risk: Is There a Causal Link?

16 Pages Posted: 10 May 2010


Does an expansion of the population size expose nation states to a higher risk of suffering from civil conflict? Obtaining empirical evidence for a causal relationship is difficult due to reverse effects and omitted variable bias. This article addresses causality issues by using randomly occurring drought as an instrumental variable to generate exogenous variation in population size for a panel of 37 Sub-Saharan countries over the period 1981–2004. Instrumental variable estimates yield that a 5% increase in population size raises the risk of civil conflict by around six percentage points.

Suggested Citation

Brückner, Markus, Population Size and Civil Conflict Risk: Is There a Causal Link?. The Economic Journal, Vol. 120, No. 544, pp. 535-550, May 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1601548 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02352.x

Markus Brückner (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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