Aiding Conflict: The Impact of U.S. Food Aid on Civil War

50 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2012 Last revised: 18 Nov 2013

See all articles by Nathan Nunn

Nathan Nunn

Harvard University - Department of Economics

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics

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Date Written: January 2012

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of U.S. food aid on conflict in recipient countries. To establish a causal relationship, we exploit time variation in food aid caused by fluctuations in U.S. wheat production together with cross-sectional variation in a country's tendency to receive any food aid from the United States. Our estimates show that an increase in U.S. food aid increases the incidence, onset and duration of civil conflicts in recipient countries. Our results suggest that the effects are larger for smaller scale civil conflicts. No effect is found on interstate warfare.

Suggested Citation

Nunn, Nathan and Qian, Nancy, Aiding Conflict: The Impact of U.S. Food Aid on Civil War (January 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17794, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1992830

Nathan Nunn (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

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