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)
"Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence