Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach

Posted: 8 Jul 2004

See all articles by Edward Miguel

Edward Miguel

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Shanker Satyanath

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Ernest Sergenti

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

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Abstract

Estimating the impact of economic conditions on the likelihood of civil conflict is difficult because of endogeneity and omitted variable bias. We use rainfall variation as an instrumental variable for economic growth in 41 African countries during 1981-99. Growth is strongly negatively related to civil conflict: a negative growth shock of five percentage points increases the likelihood of conflict by one-half the following year. We attempt to rule out other channels through which rainfall may affect conflict. Surprisingly, the impact of growth shocks on conflict is not significantly different in richer, more democratic, or more ethnically diverse countries.

Suggested Citation

Miguel, Edward and Satyanath, Shanker and Sergenti, Ernest, Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=562402

Edward Miguel (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Shanker Satyanath

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

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New York, NY 10003
United States

Ernest Sergenti

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States

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