The Columbian Exchange and Conflict in Asia

93 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2021 Last revised: 27 Jan 2022

See all articles by Mark Dincecco

Mark Dincecco

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

James Fenske

University of Warwick

Anil Menon

University of Michigan

Date Written: January 26, 2022

Abstract

We study the impact of a major permanent productivity shock -- the introduction of New World crops after 1500 -- on violent conflict in Asia. Using difference in difference and event study frameworks, we show that greater caloric suitability due to the Columbian Exchange significantly increased conflict in this context. We argue that a rapacity effect -- a rise in the gains from appropriation, which increased the attractiveness of certain locations to belligerents -- explains this result. We show that areas that experienced greater caloric suitability became significantly more populated and urbanized, and were significantly more likely to be violently conquered by Britain.

JEL Classification: N15, O13, P16, Q10

Suggested Citation

Dincecco, Mark and Fenske, James and Menon, Anil, The Columbian Exchange and Conflict in Asia (January 26, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3750813 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3750813

Mark Dincecco (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/umich.edu/dincecco

James Fenske

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Anil Menon

University of Michigan ( email )

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