Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Caruso, Raul

Ed. by Bove, Vincenzo / Kibris, Arzu / Sekeris, Petros

CiteScore 2017: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.304
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.540

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 21, Issue 4


Volume 17 (2011)

Volume 4 (1996)

Volume 3 (1995)

Volume 2 (1994)

Volume 1 (1993)

Civil Conflicts, Economic Shocks and Night-time Lights

Achim Ahrens
  • Corresponding author
  • Centre for Energy Economics Research and Policy (CEERP) – Institute for Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-09-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2015-0013


This study focuses on the effect of economic growth shocks on the risk of civil conflict outbreak in Africa. The data set covers African first-order administrative units and the time period 1992–2010. Since sub-national GDP is not available for Africa, night-time light data from satellites is used to predict economic growth. Economic growth is then instrumented with rainfall and temperature variables in order to identify the causal effect of economic growth on conflict risk. Furthermore, a spatial autoregressive panel model is estimated to examine the role of spill-over effects. Estimation results suggest strong spill-over effects, but provide no evidence for a significant effect of economic growth on civil conflict.

Keywords: spatial econometrics; night-time lights; conflicts; Africa; rainfall


  • Aidt, T.S., Leon, G., (2015), The Democratic Window of Opportunity: Evidence from Riots in Sub-Saharan Africa, Journal of Conflict Resolution. http://jcr.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/01/05/0022002714564014.abstract.

  • Bazzi, S., Blattman, C., (2014), Economic Shocks and Conflict: Evidence from Commodity Prices, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, vol. 6, pp. 1–38.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Beck, N., Gleditsch, K.S., Beardsley, K., (2006), Space Is More than Geography: Using Spatial Econometrics in the Study of Political Economy, International Studies Quarterly, vol. 50, pp. 27–44.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Brückner, M., Ciccone, A., (2011), Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity, Econometrica, vol. 79, pp. 923–947.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Bruk, S.I., Apenchenko, V.S., (1964), Atlas Narodov Mira, Glavnoe upravlenie geodezii i kartografii, Moscow.Google Scholar

  • Burke, P.J., Leigh, A., (2010), Do Output Contractions Trigger Democratic Change? American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, vol. 2, pp. 124–157.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • CIESIN and CIAT, (2005), Gridded Population of the World, Version 3 (GPWv3): Population Count Grid, NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), Palisades and NY, URL http://dx.doi.org/10.7927/H4XK8CG2.Crossref

  • Collier, P., Hoeffler, A., (1998), On Economic Causes of Civil War, Oxford Economic Papers, vol. 50, pp. 563–573.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Collier, P., Hoeffler, A., (2004), Greed and Grievance in Civil War, Oxford Economic Papers, vol. 56, pp. 563–595.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Collier, P., Hoeffler, A., Rohner, D., (2009), Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War, Oxford Economic Papers, vol. 61, pp. 1–27.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Dell, M., Jones, B.F., Olken, B.A., (2008), Climate Change and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century, NBER Working Papers, URL http://www.nber.org/papers/w14132NATIONAL.

  • Fearon, J.D., (2008), Economic Development, Insurgency, and Civil War, in Helpman, E., (ed.), Institutions and Economic Performance, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • Finlay, K., Magnusson, L., Schaffer, M.E., (2013), WEAKIV: Stata Module to Perform Weak-Instrument-Robust Tests and Confidence Intervals for Instrumental-Variable (IV) Estimation of Linear, Probit and Tobit Models, URL http://ideas.repec.org/c/boc/bocode/s457684.html.

  • Grossman, H.I., (1995), Insurrections, Handbook of Defense Economics, vol. 1, pp. 191–212.Google Scholar

  • Heal, G.M., Park, J., (2014), Feeling the Heat: Temperature, Physiology & the Wealth of Nations, The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, URL http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/dp60\_heal-park.pdf.

  • Henderson, J.V., Storeygard, A., Weil, D.N., (2012), Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space, American Economic Review, vol. 102, pp. 994–1028.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kelejian, H.H., Prucha, I.R., (1998), A Generalized Spatial Two-Stage Least Squares Procedure for Estimating a Spatial Autoregressive Model with Autoregressive Disturbances, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, vol. 17, pp. 99–121.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kim, N.K., (2014), Revisiting Economic Shocks and Coups, Journal of Conflict Resolution. http://jcr.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/02/13/0022002713520531.abstract.

  • Kleibergen, F., (2002), Pivotal Statistics for Testing Structural Parameters in Instrumental Variables Regression, Econometrica, vol. 70, pp. 1781–1803.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kleibergen, F., (2005), Testing Parameters in GMM Without Assuming that They Are Identified, Econometrica, vol. 73, pp. 1103–1123.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lanzafame, M., (2014), Temperature, Rainfall and Economic Growth in Africa, Empirical Economics, vol. 46, pp. 1–18.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Miguel, E., Satyanath, S., Sergenti, E., (2004), Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 112, pp. 725–753.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Schaffer, M. E. (2012): XTIVREG2: Stata Module to Perform Extended IV/2SLS, GMM and AC/HAC, LIML and k-Class Regression for Panel Data Models, URL https://ideas.repec.org/c/boc/bocode/s456501.html.

  • Sundberg, R., Melander, E., (2010), UCDP GED Codebook version 1.9-2015, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. http://www.ucdp.uu.se/ged/data/ucdp-ged-points-v-1-9-csv.zip.

  • Sundberg, R., Melander, E., (2013), Introducing the UCDP Georeferenced Event Dataset, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 50, pp. 523–532.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tinbergen, J., (1962), Shaping the World Economy: Suggestions for an International Economic Policy, Twentieth Century Fund, New York.Google Scholar

  • Weidmann, N.B., Rod, J.K., Cederman, L.-E., (2010), Representing Ethnic Groups in Space: A New Dataset, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 47, pp. 491–499.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Willmott, C.J., Matsuura, K., (2015), Terrestrial Air Temperature and Precipitation: Monthly and Annual Climatologies (Version 3.01), URL http://climate.geog.udel.edu/~climate/.

About the article

Corresponding author: Achim Ahrens, Centre for Energy Economics Research and Policy (CEERP) – Institute for Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK, E-mail:

Published Online: 2015-09-17

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, Volume 21, Issue 4, Pages 433–444, ISSN (Online) 1554-8597, ISSN (Print) 1079-2457, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2015-0013.

Export Citation

©2015 by De Gruyter.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in