Economics at your fingertips  

The geography of natural resources, ethnic inequality and civil conflicts

Christian Lessmann and Arne Steinkraus ()

European Journal of Political Economy, 2019, vol. 59, issue C, 33-51

Abstract: We study whether the spatial distribution of natural resources across different ethnic groups within countries causes spatial inequality and the incidence of armed conflict. By providing a theoretical rent-seeking model and analysing a set of geo-coded data for mines, night-time light emissions, local populations and ethnic homelands, we show that the spatial distribution of resources is a major driving factor of ethnic income inequality. Moreover, a spatially unequal distribution of natural resources induces rent-seeking behaviour and thus increases the risk of civil conflicts. Consequently, we extend the perspective of the resource curse to explain cross-country differences in income inequality and the onset of civil conflicts.

Keywords: Natural resources; Minerals; Mines; Night lights; Luminosity; Ethnic income inequality; Spatial inequality; Civil war; Conflict (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D74 Q32 Q34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

More articles in European Journal of Political Economy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

Page updated 2019-12-01
Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:59:y:2019:i:c:p:33-51