The Geography of Inter-State Resource Wars

56 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2013 Last revised: 21 Apr 2013

See all articles by Francesco Caselli

Francesco Caselli

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

Massimo Morelli

Bocconi University

Dominic Rohner

University of Zurich

Date Written: April 2013

Abstract

We establish a theoretical as well as empirical framework to assess the role of resource endowments and their geographic location for inter-State conflict. The main predictions of the theory are that conflict tends to be more likely when at least one country has natural resources; when the resources in the resource-endowed country are closer to the border; and, in the case where both countries have natural resources, when the resources are located asymmetrically vis-a-vis the border. We test these predictions on a novel dataset featuring oilfield distances from bilateral borders. The empirical analysis shows that the presence and location of oil are significant and quantitatively important predictors of inter-State conflicts after WW2.

Suggested Citation

Caselli, Francesco and Morelli, Massimo and Rohner, Dominic, The Geography of Inter-State Resource Wars (April 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w18978. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2254229

Francesco Caselli (Contact Author)

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

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Massimo Morelli

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Dominic Rohner

University of Zurich ( email )

Muehlebachstrasse 86
Zurich, 8008
Switzerland

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