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Why is the Middle East burning? An historical analysis of the economic causes of conflicts from 1963 to 1999

Nasser Elkanj and Partha Gangopadhyay ()

International Journal of Development and Conflict, 2014, vol. 4, issue 1, 35-48

Abstract: Violent conflicts have become one of the major concerns in the Middle East. In recent days, especially, the Middle East has experienced a dramatic surge in violent conflicts. We examine the dynamics of historical conflicts in the region to explain the factors that triggered and fuelled conflicts in the region by using a panel of conflict estimates for ten Middle Eastern nations for the period 1963-1999. On the basis of the historical estimates we hazard the risk of explaining the factors that possibly led to the current eruption of violent crises in the Middle East. The fixed effects model is applied to control for unobservable country-specific effects that result in a missing-variable bias in cross-sectional studies, which thereby investigates the factors that caused statistically significant changes in conflicts over time within the chosen group. On the basis of the panel data estimates, we offer insights in the roles of inequality, inflation, economic growth, military spending, foreign direct investment, immigration and remittances in the surge in conflicts in the Middle East.

Keywords: Conflicts; income inequality; panel data; military expenditure; economic growth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 O13 H56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:gok:ijdcv1:v:4:y:2014:i:1:p:35-48