Food Abundance and Violent Conflict in Africa

Scholars debate whether climate change has a consistent effect on the likelihood of armed conflict in Africa. One major pathway by which climatic variability is hypothesized to increase conflict is by decreasing food availability. However, limitations on food access at both the local and national level in many developing African countries force most armed groups and communities to depend on locally produced food. These actors are therefore likely to use violence to establish control over more food resources or be stationed where more food is available, suggesting that food abundance might also be driving conflict. The present study employs novel data on wheat and maize yields in Africa measured at the very local level to empirically evaluate this hypothesis on a highly disaggregated conflict indicator. To account for the endogenous relationship between conflict and food production, average local levels of drought are used as an instrument. The findings show that, contrary to previous expectations, conflict is driven by higher yields, on average, and not by scarcity.


Publication Date:
Feb 14 2018
Date Submitted:
Jul 10 2019
Pagination:
981-1006
ISSN:
0002-9092
Citation:
American Journal of Agricultural Economics
100
4

Note: The file is under embargo until: 2020-12-31



 Record created 2019-07-10, last modified 2019-07-11

preprint:
Download fulltext
PDF

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)