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Agricultural shocks and riots: A disaggregated analysis

Christian Almer, Jérémy Laurent-Lucchetti and Manuel Oechslin
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Manuel Oechslin: Tilburg University

No 24/14, Department of Economics Working Papers from University of Bath, Department of Economics

Abstract: Every year, riots cause a substantial number of fatalities in less-advanced countries. This paper explores the role of agricultural output shocks in explaining riots. Our theory predicts a negative relationship between the level of rioting and the deviation of the actual output from the average one. Relying on monthly data at the cell level (0.5×0.5 degrees), and using a drought index to proxy for output shocks, our empirical analysis confirms such a negative relationship for Sub-Saharan Africa: A one-standard-deviation decrease in the drought index rises the likelihood of a riot in a given cell and month by 8.4 percent. The use of highly disaggregated data accounts for the fact that riots are temporally and geographically confined events.

Keywords: conflict; social unrest; economic shocks; disaggregated analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-09-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-dev
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