Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2268061
 
 

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Economic Shocks and Conflict: Evidence from Commodity Prices


Samuel Bazzi


University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Christopher Blattman


University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

March 22, 2013


Abstract:     
Higher national incomes are correlated with lower political instability. We test three theories linking income to conflict using a new database of export price shocks. Price shocks have no effect on new conflicts, even large shocks in high-risk nations. Rising prices, however, lead to shorter, less intense wars. This evidence contradicts the theory that rising state revenues incentivize attempts at capture, but accords with two theories: that rising revenues improve state counter-insurgency capacity and reduce individual incentives to fight in existing conflicts. Conflict onset and continuation follow different processes. Ignoring this time dependence generates mistaken conclusions about income and instability.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 51

Keywords: income shocks, political instability, fragile states


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Date posted: May 23, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Bazzi, Samuel and Blattman, Christopher, Economic Shocks and Conflict: Evidence from Commodity Prices (March 22, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2268061 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2268061

Contact Information

Samuel Bazzi
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )
9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States
Christopher Blattman (Contact Author)
University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy ( email )
1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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