Population and Civil War

51 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2017

See all articles by Daron Acemoglu

Daron Acemoglu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Leopoldo Fergusson

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Simon Johnson

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Entrepreneurship Center; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 31, 2017

Abstract

Medical and public health innovations in the 1940s quickly resulted in significant health improvements around the world. Countries with initially higher mortality from infectious diseases experienced greater increases in life expectancy, population, and -- over the following 40 years -- social conflict. This result is robust across alternative measures of conflict and is not driven by differential trends between countries with varying baseline characteristics. At least during this time period, a faster increase in population made social conflict more likely, probably because it increased competition for scarce resources in low income countries.

Keywords: civil war, population growth

JEL Classification: J1, 011, O15, Q56

Suggested Citation

Acemoglu, Daron and Fergusson, Leopoldo and Johnson, Simon, Population and Civil War (March 31, 2017). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 17-06, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2947307 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2947307

Daron Acemoglu (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Leopoldo Fergusson

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

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Simon Johnson

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Entrepreneurship Center ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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