London School of Economics EOPP: Economic Organisation and Public Policy Programme LSE
EOPP: Economic Organisation and Public Policy Programme

The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence

Tim Besley (with Torsten Persson, IIES)

Abstract:

This paper studies the incidence of civil war over time. The authors put forward a canonical model of civil war, which relates the incidence of conflict to circumstances, institutions and features of the underlying economy and polity. They use this model to derive testable predictions and to interpret the cross-sectional and times-series variations in civil conflict. Their most novel empirical finding is that higher world market prices of exported, as well as imported, commodities are strong and significant predictors of higher within-country incidence of civil war.

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The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence