The Nature of Conflict

105 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2015

See all articles by Cemal Eren Arbatli

Cemal Eren Arbatli

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Quamrul H. Ashraf

Williams College - Department of Economics

Oded Galor

Brown University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Date Written: August 21, 2015

Abstract

This research establishes that the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrastate conflicts in the modern era reflect the long shadow of prehistory. Exploiting variations across national populations, it demonstrates that genetic diversity, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, has contributed significantly to the frequency, incidence, and onset of both overall and ethnic civil conflict over the last half-century, accounting for a large set of geographical and institutional correlates of conflict, as well as measures of economic development. Furthermore, the analysis establishes the significant contribution of genetic diversity to the intensity of social unrest and to the incidence of intragroup factional conflict. These findings arguably reflect the contribution of genetic diversity to the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups in the national population; the adverse influence of genetic diversity on interpersonal trust and cooperation; the contribution of genetic diversity to divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies; and the potential impact of genetic diversity on economic inequality within a society.

Keywords: civil conflict, genetic diversity, fractionalization, polarization, interpersonal trust, preferences for public goods, economic inequality

JEL Classification: D740, N300, N400, O110, O430, Z130

Suggested Citation

Arbatli, Cemal Eren and Ashraf, Quamrul H. and Galor, Oded, The Nature of Conflict (August 21, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5486. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2663327

Cemal Eren Arbatli

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

26 Shabolovka Street
1215
Moscow, 119049
Russia

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/erenarbatli/home

Quamrul H. Ashraf

Williams College - Department of Economics ( email )

24 Hopkins Hall Drive
Williamstown, MA 01267
United States
(413) 597-2476 (Phone)
(413) 597-4045 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.williams.edu/profile/qha1/

Oded Galor (Contact Author)

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Providence, RI 02912
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Oded_Galor/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Oded_Galor/

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