Climate, Conflict, and Social Stability: What Does the Evidence Say?

20 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2013

See all articles by Solomon Hsiang

Solomon Hsiang

University of California, Berkeley; National Bureau of Economic Research

Marshall Burke

University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Date Written: July 27, 2013

Abstract

Are violent conflict and socio-political stability associated with changes in climatological variables? We examine 50 rigorous quantitative studies on this question and find consistent support for a causal association between climatological changes and various conflict outcomes, at spatial scales ranging from individual buildings to the entire globe and at temporal scales ranging from an anomalous hour to an anomalous millennium. Multiple mechanisms that could explain this association have been proposed and are sometimes supported by findings, but the literature is currently unable to decisively exclude any proposed pathway. Several mechanisms likely contribute to the outcomes that we observe.

Keywords: climate change, conflict

JEL Classification: O13, D74

Suggested Citation

Hsiang, Solomon and Burke, Marshall, Climate, Conflict, and Social Stability: What Does the Evidence Say? (July 27, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2302245 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2302245

Solomon Hsiang (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
United States

HOME PAGE: http://gspp.berkeley.edu/directories/faculty/solomon-hsiang

National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Marshall Burke

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
215
Abstract Views
790
PlumX Metrics