Do giant oil field discoveries fuel internal armed conflicts?
Guy Michaels, Yu-Hsiang Lei 01 December 2011
Do natural resource windfalls, such as those arising from the discovery of giant oil fields, increase the risk of internal armed conflict? This column argues that giant oil field discoveries, which are largely down to chance, significantly increase the incidence of conflict. This is especially so in countries with recent histories of political violence, where locals may have little to gain from such discoveries
Do natural resource windfalls, such as those arising from the discovery of giant oil fields, increase the risk of internal armed conflict? Anecdotal evidence from Nigeria, Angola, and Iraq leads us to suspect that they may, and recent research (Dal Bó and Dal Bó 2011; Besley and Persson 2009, 2011; Acemoglu et al. 2010) even sheds light on the mechanisms underlying some of these conflicts over resources. But as Norway, Canada, and Brazil show, not all oil-rich countries experience internal conflicts. Careful surveys of the literature on conflicts and natural resources (e.g.
oil, resource curse, civil wars
Poverty and civil wars
Simeon Djankov , Marta Reynal-Querol 29 October 2008
Would reducing poverty reduce the risk of civil war in poor countries? This column explains that the relationship between poverty and civil conflicts is probably driven by other factors omitted from previous econometric specifications, such as colonial history. To reduce the probability of civil war, policies need to address other structural problems.
Differences in per capita income have received considerable attention in the oratory on civil wars. The UN Millennium Project, Investing in Development: Practical Plans to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals (2005) notes, for example:
Poverty, civil wars, violence