Drought and Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa

25 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2011

See all articles by Mathieu Couttenier

Mathieu Couttenier

University of Lausanne - DEEP

Raphael Soubeyran

French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) - Research Center in Montpellier; INRA-LAMETA

Date Written: January 4, 2011

Abstract

In this paper, we show that drought has a positive effect on the incidence of civil war over the 1945-2005 period in Sub-Saharan Africa. We use the Palmer Drought Severity Index which is a richer measurement of drought than the measures used in the literature (rainfall and temperature) as it measures the accumulation of water in the soil in taking into account the temperature and the geological characteristics of the soil. We show that the risk of civil war increases by more than 42% from a “normal” climate to an “extremely drought” climate. Surprisingly, only 2.5% of this effect is channeled through economic growth.

Keywords: Climate Change, Drought, Civil War

JEL Classification: O10, O55, P0, Q0

Suggested Citation

Couttenier, Mathieu and Soubeyran, Raphael, Drought and Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa (January 4, 2011). FEEM Working Paper No. 150.2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1734704 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1734704

Mathieu Couttenier

University of Lausanne - DEEP ( email )

Université de Lausanne
Quartier UNIL-Dorigny
Lausanne, 1004
Switzerland

Raphael Soubeyran (Contact Author)

French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) - Research Center in Montpellier ( email )

2 place Viala
Montpellier, Cedex 01 34060
FRANCE

INRA-LAMETA ( email )

2 place viala
Montpellier, 34060
France

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