Natural Resources and Violent Conflict: Resource Abundance, Dependence and the Onset of Civil Wars

CER-ETH-Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich, Working Paper No. 08/78

36 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2008

See all articles by Christa N. Brunnschweiler

Christa N. Brunnschweiler

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Department of Economics; University of Oxford - OxCarre

Erwin H. Bulte

Tilburg University - Department of Economics; Wageningen University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2008

Abstract

In this paper we examine the claim that natural resources invite civil conflict, and challenge the main stylized facts in this literature. We find that the nature of causation between resource dependence and civil war is opposite to conventional wisdom. In particular, (i) civil war creates dependence on primary sector exports, but the reverse is not true, and (ii) resource abundance is associated with a reduced probability of the onset of war. These results are robust to a range of specifications and, considering the conflict channel, we conclude there is no reason to regard resources as a general curse to development.

Keywords: Civil war, resource abundance, resource dependence, greed versus grievance, resource curse

JEL Classification: Q34, O11, N40, N50

Suggested Citation

Brunnschweiler, Christa N. and Bulte, Erwin H., Natural Resources and Violent Conflict: Resource Abundance, Dependence and the Onset of Civil Wars (January 2008). CER-ETH-Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich, Working Paper No. 08/78, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1083622 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1083622

Christa N. Brunnschweiler (Contact Author)

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Department of Economics ( email )

N-7491 Trondheim
Norway

University of Oxford - OxCarre ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Erwin H. Bulte

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 9111 (Phone)

Wageningen University

Hollandseweg 1
6706 KN
Wageningen
Netherlands

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