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Can migration reduce civil conflicts as an antidote to rent-seeking?

Ismael Issifou

Economic Systems, 2017, vol. 41, issue 3, 333-353

Abstract: In this paper, I investigate whether access to migration reduces the positive effect of natural resources on the onset of civil conflicts shown in the literature. There is a negative and significant correlation between the interaction variable “migration rate-natural resources” and the probability of outbreak of civil wars, showing that the effect of natural resources is conditional on the migration rate. Simulations to quantify the marginal effects of the interaction term show that a migration rate equal to 6% or higher dampens the effect of natural resources on civil wars. To address the potential endogeneity problem in estimating the relationship between civil conflicts and migration, although I distinguish economic migrants from refugees, I also use an IV approach. In this respect, the negative effect of the two interacting variables on the probability of outbreak of civil wars remains robust after having instrumented the migration rate by using the gravity-based predicted emigration rate. Given the endogenous nature of the ratio of primary exports to GDP, in addition, the study directly utilizes the emigration rates as an alternate robust method to estimate the primary issue on civil conflicts. The results show that only the civil conflicts caused by natural resources are negatively impacted by emigration rates.

Keywords: Conflict; Migration; Natural resources; Rent-seeking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 F22 O13 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:3:p:333-353