Natural resources and conflict in Africa: what do the data show?

Bhattacharyya, Sambit and Mamo, Nemera (2019) Natural resources and conflict in Africa: what do the data show? Economic Development and Cultural Change. ISSN 0013-0079

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Abstract

The empirical relationship between natural resources and conflict in Africa is not very well understood. Using a novel geocoded dataset we are able to construct a quasi-natural experiment to explore the causal effects of oilfield and mineral discoveries on intra-state armed conflict in Africa at the grid-cell level corresponding to a spatial resolution of 0.5 x 0.5 degrees latitude and longitude. We find no evidence of resource discoveries triggering conflict after controlling for property rights institutions, past discoveries, grid-cell and year fixed effects, grid-cell specific trends, and country-year fixed effects. Resource discoveries are associated with improved local living standards and increased political patronage both of which reduce conflict. We observe little or no heterogeneity in the relationship across resource types, discovery size, distance to discovery and borders, and institutions. The relationship remains unchanged at higher grid-cell resolution, and regional and national levels.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Resource discovery; Conflict onset; Conflict incidence; Conflict intensity
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0085 Natural resources
H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0800 Africa
Depositing User: Sambit Bhattacharyya
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 11:27
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 13:16
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/83828

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