Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 7, 2014

Conflict Spillovers and Growth in Africa

  • J. Paul Dunne and Nan Tian EMAIL logo


A number of studies have attempted to evaluate the costs of conflict, but few have evaluated the impact of conflict on country growth. An even more limited number of studies have attempted to evaluate the spillover effects of conflict, with those that have finding clear negative effects on primary neighbors and then positive secondary neighbor effects. There are, however, a number of issues with these studies and this paper updates and develops their analysis using a dynamic panel approach. It confirms the negative sign and magnitude of the previous findings for the host country and primary neighbors, but finds no evidence of any positive or negative effects of conflict on secondary neighbors.

JEL codes: C21; F51; H56; O11

Corresponding author: Nan Tian, School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape 7701, South Africa, E-mail:


Table A1

Variable description and summary statistics.

VariableVariable descriptionMeanStd. dev
gdp(1)Real GDP per capita18212142
invest(1)Investment as a share of GDP20.5613.51
school(2)(3)Percentage of secondary education attained in the population older than 2511.9012.62
pop(1)Population in 000’s11,66317,810
conflict(4)Conflict indicator (1=Conflict, 0=No conflict)0.190.39
intense(4)Intense Conflict indicator (1=Conflict, 0=No conflict)0.060.24
civil(4)Civil war indicator (1=Civil war, 0=No civil war)0.130.34
ΔgdpGrowth rate of real per capital GDP (log)0.0090.108
ΔinvestGrowth rate of investment as share of GDP (log)0.0120.249
ΔschoolGrowth rate of education attainment (log)0.0100.007
n+g+δPopulation growth rate (clpop)+0.05 (assumed value for g+d) used in Solow-style regressions0.0750.065

Note: (1) Penn World Table 7.1 Center for International Comparisons of Production, Income and Prices (CIC), University of Pennsylvania.

(2) Penn World Table 8.0 Feenstra, Robert C., Robert Inklaar and Marcel P. Timmer (2013), “The Next Generation of the Penn World Table.” Available for download at

(3) Barro, Robert and Jong-Wha Lee, “A New Data Set of Educational Attainmentin the World, 1950–2010,” forthcoming, Journal of Development Economics.

(4) UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Version 4-2009 and Themner, Lotta and Wallensteen, Peter, “Armed Conflict, 1946–2010.” Journal of Peace Research.


Barro, R.J., Lee, J., (2001), International Data on Education Attainment: Updates and Implications, Oxford Economic Papers, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 541–563.Search in Google Scholar

Barro, R.J., Lee, J., (2013), A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in The World, 1950–2010, Journal of Development Economics, vol. 104, pp. 184–198.Search in Google Scholar

Collier, P., (1999), On The Economic Consequences of Civil War, Oxford Economic Papers, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 168–183.Search in Google Scholar

De Groot, O.J., (2010), The Spillover Effects of Conflict on Economic Growth in Neighbouring Countries in Africa, Defence and Peace Economics, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 149–164.Search in Google Scholar

Dunne, J.P., (2013), Armed conflicts, Chapter 1 in Bjorn Lomborg (ed.), Global Problems, Smart Solutions: Costs and Benefits, Cambridge University Press for Copenhagen Consensus. in Google Scholar

Dunne, J.P., Tian, N., (2013), Military Spending, Economic Growth and Conflict in Africa, Mimeo.Search in Google Scholar

Dunne, J.P., Tian, N., (2014), Conflict, Economic Growth and Spatial Spillover Effects in Africa, Mimeo.Search in Google Scholar

Dunne, Paul J., Nikolaidou, E., Smith, R., (2002), Military Spending, Investment and Economic Growth in Small Industrialising Economies, South African Journal of Economics, vol. 70, no. 5, pp. 789–790.Search in Google Scholar

Feenstra, R.C., Inklaar, R., Timmer, M. (2013), The Next Generation of the Penn World Table, Available for download at in Google Scholar

Gleditsch, K.S., Ward, M.D., (2001), Measuring Space: A Minimum-Distance Database and Applications to International Studies, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 38, no. 6, pp. 739–758.Search in Google Scholar

Gyimah-Brempong, K., Corley, M.E., (2005), Civil Wars and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, Journal of African Economies, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 270–311.Search in Google Scholar

Mankiw, Gregory N., Romer, D., Weil, David N., (1992), A Contribution to The Empirics of Economic Growth, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 107, no. 2, pp. 407–437.Search in Google Scholar

Murdoch, J.C., Sandler, T., (2002a), Economic Growth, Civil Wars and Spatial Spillovers, Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 91–110.10.1177/0022002702046001006Search in Google Scholar

Murdoch, J.C., Sandler, T., (2002b), Civil Wars and Economic Growth: A Regional Comparison, Defence and Peace Economics, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 451–464.10.1080/10242690214336Search in Google Scholar

Murdoch, J.C., Sandler, T., (2004), Civil Wars and Economic Growth: Spatial Dispersion, American Journal of Political Science, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 138–151.Search in Google Scholar

Organski, A.F.K., Kugler, J., (1980), The War Ledger, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.10.7208/chicago/9780226351841.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Sambanis, N., (2002), A Review of Recent Advances and Future Directions in the Quantitative Literature on Civil War, Defence and Peace Economics, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 215–243.Search in Google Scholar

Themner, L., Wallensteen, P., (2011), Armed Conflict, 1946–2010, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 525–536.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2014-10-7
Published in Print: 2014-12-1

© 2014 by De Gruyter

Downloaded on 3.6.2023 from
Scroll to top button