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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 3 No. 4 (October 2011)

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Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment

Article Citation

Ciccone, Antonio. 2011. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 3(4): 215-27.

DOI: 10.1257/app.3.4.215

Abstract

Edward Miguel, Shanker Satyanath, and Ernest Sergenti (2004), henceforth MSS, argue that lower rainfall levels and negative rainfall shocks increase conflict risk in sub-Saharan Africa. This conclusion rests on their finding of a negative correlation between conflict in t and rainfall growth between t — 1 and t — 2. I show that this finding is driven by a (counterintuitive) positive correlation between conflict in t and rainfall levels in t — 2. If lower rainfall levels or negative rainfall shocks increased conflict, MSS's finding should have been due to a negative correlation between conflict in t and rainfall levels in t — 1. In the latest data, conflict is unrelated to rainfall. (JEL D74, E32, O11, O17, O47)

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Authors

Ciccone, Antonio (ICREA, U Pompeu Fabra)

JEL Classifications

D74: Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
E32: Business Fluctuations; Cycles
O11: Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O17: Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
O47: Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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