The Columbian Exchange and Conflict in Asia

88 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2021 Last revised: 12 Jul 2024

See all articles by Mark Dincecco

Mark Dincecco

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

James Fenske

University of Warwick

Anil Menon

University of California, Merced

Date Written: July 12, 2024

Abstract

We study the impact of a permanent positive productivity shock -- the introduction of New World crops -- on violent conflict in Asia. Using difference in differences and event study frameworks, we document a robust positive relationship between gains in caloric suitability due to the Columbian Exchange and greater conflict. To explain our main results, we highlight a rapacity effect -- an increase in the potential prize from resource appropriation to political actors. We show that conflict following gains in caloric suitability was greater in areas with a higher degree of geopolitical competition, and that areas experiencing gains in caloric suitability were more likely to face imperial conquest. We show further that conflict was greater in areas that became more populated and urbanized following gains in caloric suitability. Our findings shed new light on the Great Divergence in historical socioeconomic outcomes between Europe and Asia.

JEL Classification: N15, O13, P16, Q10

Suggested Citation

Dincecco, Mark and Fenske, James and Menon, Anil, The Columbian Exchange and Conflict in Asia (July 12, 2024). 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 California, Merced ( email )

5200 Lake Road
Merced, CA CA 95343
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/anilmenon/bio

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