Conflicts in Spatial Networks

76 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2020

See all articles by Ashani Amarasinghe

Ashani Amarasinghe

SoDa Laboratories, Monash University

Paul Raschky

Monash University - Department of Economics

Yves Zenou

Stockholm University; Monash University - Department of Economics; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Junjie Zhou

Tsinghua University - Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 8, 2020

Abstract

We develop a network model of conflict in which players are involved in different battles. A negative shock in one locality affects the conflict in this locality but may also increase battles in path-connected localities depending on the location of the battle in the network and the strength of each locality involved in each battle. We then empirically test this model by analyzing the effect of local natural disasters on battles in Africa. We construct a novel panel-dataset that combines geo-referenced information about battle events and natural disasters at the monthly level for 5,944 districts in 53 African countries over the period from 1989 to 2015. At this fine temporal and spatial resolution, natural disasters are formidable exogenous shocks that affect the costs and benefits of fighting in a locality. We find that natural disasters decrease battle incidence in the affected locality and that this effect persists over time and space. This mitigating effect appears to be more pronounced in more developed localities. As highlighted by the model, these results can be explained by the fact that natural disasters divert fighting activity to surrounding localities, particularly those that are connected via geographic and road networks.

Keywords: Natural disasters, battle, Africa, spatial spillovers, temporal spillovers

JEL Classification: D85, O55

Suggested Citation

Amarasinghe, Ashani and Raschky, Paul and Zenou, Yves and Zenou, Yves and Zhou, Junjie, Conflicts in Spatial Networks (January 8, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3515762 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3515762

Ashani Amarasinghe

SoDa Laboratories, Monash University ( email )

Australia

Paul Raschky

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3
Australia

Yves Zenou (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Australia

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI) ( email )

P.O. Box 5501
S-114 85 Stockholm
Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Junjie Zhou

Tsinghua University - Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management ( email )

Beijing
China

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