The Columbian Exchange and Conflict in Asia

84 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2021 Last revised: 22 Sep 2021

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: September 21, 2021

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 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 more populated and urbanized, and were more likely to be violently occupied by Britain. Our analysis provides new evidence about how a permanent productivity shock can affect violent conflict.

JEL Classification: N15, O13, P16, Q10

Suggested Citation

Dincecco, Mark and Fenske, James and Menon, Anil, The Columbian Exchange and Conflict in Asia (September 21, 2021). 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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