Can Audits Shift the Battleground? Supply Chain Certifications and Conflict Dynamics in the Congo

83 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2023 Last revised: 18 Jun 2024

See all articles by Samuel Chang

Samuel Chang

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Hans Bonde Christensen

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: August 01, 2023

Abstract

We examine the impact of conflict-free certifications for small-scale gold mines, introduced to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act, on conflict dynamics in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. While Dodd-Frank enactment itself did not significantly alter conflict patterns, actual certifications displaced armed group-initiated conflicts from within a 10-kilometer radius around certified mines to mining areas 25-75 kilometers away. Consistent with full displacement, overall conflict intensity within a 75-kilometer radius of certified mines remained largely unchanged, and conflict intensity is not decreasing in certification frequency at the aggregate territory level. Our findings suggest that conflict mineral certifications prompt stationary armed groups to reallocate their protective activities from uncertified to certified mines, ultimately failing to meet policymakers' objective of alleviating the humanitarian crisis in the Congo.

Keywords: Conflict-free certification, Conflict, Armed groups, Small-scale mining, Artisanal mining, Mineral supply chain, Supply chain due diligence, Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, Dodd-Frank Act Provision 1502

JEL Classification: D74, E26, G18, G38, K22, K23, M42, N47, N57, O13, Q34, Q38

Suggested Citation

Chang, Samuel and Christensen, Hans Bonde, Can Audits Shift the Battleground? Supply Chain Certifications and Conflict Dynamics in the Congo (August 01, 2023). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2023-144, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4609332 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4609332

Samuel Chang (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
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2709964296 (Phone)

Hans Bonde Christensen

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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