Gold and Civil Conflict Intensity: evidence from a spatially disaggregated analysis

Sara Balestri 1
  • 1 Department of International Economics, Institutions and Development (DISEIS), Faculty of Political Science, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC)


This research is aimed at investigating whether the presence of available extractive resources, in particular gold, interacts with civil conflict intensity, accounting for sub-country level data through the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques. By a spatially disaggregated and specific resource analysis, I found that gold, gemstones and hydrocarbons productions within the conflict areas tend to increase conflict intensity. The analysis is carried out by applying a Zero-Truncated Negative Binomial model. Data for gold resource are extracted from an original dataset - GOLDATA - which provides a comprehensive list of gold deposits throughout the world completed of geographic coordinates, temporal information and characteristics. The overall finding is that the presence of exploitable gold resource tends to increase conflict intensity and that resources’ lootability and accessibility in wartime can largely determine to what extent revenues can be appropriated and misused during conflict events.

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The main objectives of Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy are to further research in Peace Science and Peace Economics, to expose the scholarly community to innovative peace-related research, to disseminate the study of peace economics to a wider audience.