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

4 Issues per year

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 24, Issue 2


Volume 17 (2011)

Volume 4 (1996)

Volume 3 (1995)

Volume 2 (1994)

Volume 1 (1993)

Controlling for Import Price Effects in Civil War Regressions

Thorsten JanusORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6989-5258 / Daniel Riera-Crichton
Published Online: 2018-05-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2017-0035


Several studies estimate the effects of commodity export prices on economic outcomes, such as conflict and democratic transitions. In this note, we argue that it is important to control for the effects of import prices due to two reasons. First, economic theory predicts that both import and export prices affect the economy’s performance, which can, in turn, affect its conflict propensity. Second, the facts that import prices might affect the conflict risk and that import and export prices can be correlated imply that the failure to control for import price effects can bias the export price coefficients. We illustrate these points using the dataset and one of the regression specifications in a recent civil war study.

Keywords: civil war; commodity prices; terms of trade; exports

JEL Classification: D74; F44; Q02; Q34


  • Agénor, P.-R., & Montiel, P. J. (2008). Development macroeconomics (3rd ed.). New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

  • Aguirre, A. (2016). Fiscal policy and civil conflict in Africa. Journal of African Economies 25(4), 614–636.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Andersen, J. J., Nordvik, F. M., & Tesei, A. (2017). Oil and civil conflict: On and off (shore). Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum Economics (CAMP) Working Paper Series No. 1.Google Scholar

  • Arezki, R., & Brückner, M. (2011). Food prices and political instability. IMF Working Paper No. 62Google Scholar

  • Auty, R. (2002). Sustaining development in mineral economies: The resource curse thesis. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Basedau, M., & Lay, J. (2009). Resource curse or rentier peace? The ambiguous effects of oil wealth and oil dependence on violent conflict. Journal of Peace Research, 46(6), 757–776.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Bazzi, S., & Blattman, C. (2014). Economic shocks and conflict: Evidence from commodity prices. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 6(4), 1–38.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Bellemare, M. F. (2015). Rising food prices, food price volatility, and social unrest. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 97(1), 1–21.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Berman, N., Couttenier, M., Rohner, D., & Thoenig, M. (2017). This mine is mine! How minerals fuel conflicts in Africa. American Economic Review, 107(6), 1564–1610.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Brückner, M., & Ciccone, A. (2010). International commodity prices, growth and the outbreak of civil war in Sub-Saharan Africa. Economic Journal, 120(544), 519–534.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Cotet, A. M., & Tsui, K. K. (2010). Oil and conflict: What does the cross country evidence really show? American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 5(1), 49–80.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Dixit, A., & Norman, V. (1980). Theory of international trade: A dual, general equilibrium approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Dube, O., & Vargas, J. F. (2013). Commodity price shocks and civil conflict: Evidence from Colombia. Review of Economic Studies, 80(4), 1384–1421.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Elbadawi, I. A., & Soto, R. (2015). Resource rents, institutions, and violent civil conflicts. Defence and Peace Economics, 26(1), 89–113.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Erten, B., & Ocampo, J. A. (2013). Super cycles of commodity prices since the mid-nineteenth century. World Development, 44, 14–30.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Feenstra, R. C. (2015). Advanced international trade: Theory and evidence (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

  • Janus, T., & Riera-Crichton, D. (2015). Economic shocks, civil war and ethnicity. Journal of Development Economics, 115, 32–44.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Janus, T., & Riera-Crichton, D. (2018). Commodity terms of trade shocks and battle deaths in civil wars. Working Paper, Bates College and University of Wyoming.Google Scholar

  • Lei, Y.-H., & Michaels, G. (2014). Do giant oilfield discoveries fuel internal armed conflicts? Journal of Development Economics, 110, 139–157.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lujala, P. (2010). The spoils of nature: Armed civil conflict and rebel access to natural resources. Journal of Peace Research, 47(1), 15–28.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Maystadt, J.-F., De Luca, G., Sekeris, P. G., & Ulimwengu, J. (2014). Mineral resources and conflicts in DRC: A case of ecological fallacy? Oxford Economic Papers, 66(3), 721–749.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • McGuirk, E., & Burke, M. (2017). The economic origins of conflict in Africa. NBER Working Paper No. 23056.Google Scholar

  • Morgan, R. K., & Reinhardt, E. (2015). Commodity price volatility and civil conflict. Working Paper, Emory University.Google Scholar

  • Obstfeld, M., & Rogoff, K. S. (1996). Foundations of international macroeconomics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Ricci, L. A., Milesi-Ferretti, G. M., & Lee, J. (2008). Real exchange rates and fundamentals: A cross-country perspective. IMF Working Paper 08/13.Google Scholar

  • Ross, M. L. (2004). What do we know about natural resources and civil war? Journal of Peace Research, 41(3), 337–356.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ross, M. (2006). A closer look at oil, diamonds, and civil war. Annual Review of Political Science, 9, 265–300.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Ross, M. (2012). The oil curse: How petroleum wealth shapes the development of nations. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

  • Sanchez de la Sierra, R. (2015). On the origin of states: Stationary bandits and taxation in eastern Congo. https://raulsanchezdelasierra.com/papers.

  • Spatafora, N., & Tytell, I. (2009). Commodity terms of trade: The history of booms and busts. IMF Working Papers No. 09-205.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2018-05-17

Citation Information: Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, Volume 24, Issue 2, 20170035, ISSN (Online) 1554-8597, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2017-0035.

Export Citation

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in