Are African civil conflicts built on empty stomachs?
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Gode Hansen, Nanna1, Forfatter
Hariri, Jacob Gerner2, Vejleder
1Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7001              
2Institut for Statskundskab, Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7003              
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Ukontrollerede emneord: Fødevaresikkerhed, Konflikt, Afrika, Kvantitativ metode, Instrument Variable
 Abstract: Local and global food security is under pressure. Population growth, people moving up the food chain and a growing use of food for biofuels is increasing the demand for food, while food supply is at the same time challenged by overgrazing, overpumping and climate change. While these trends are threatening international food security, they might also threaten international peace and stability. Referring to the food crisis in 2007-2008 and 2011 and the apparent impact on the rise of several African food riots and the conflicts in Tunisia and Egypt during the Arab Spring, food insecurity has increasingly been presented as a source of civil conflict in the public debate. The thesis at hand wishes to examine this alleged impact of food insecurity on civil conflict.Based on greed and grievance theory, I too expect that food insecurity fuels civil conflict incidence. More specifically, food insecurity is expected to cause discontent and frustration, hence leading to grievance-motivated conflict, just as food insecurity is expected to lower people’s costs of fighting and their profits of looting food, thereby creating greed-motivated conflict. Estimating the impact of food insecurity on civil conflict is however no easy task due to endogeneity and omitted variables bias. In order to address these problems and convincingly establish a causal relationship, I use international food prices as an instrumental variable for food insecurity in 55 African countries in the period 1990-2011, while at the same concluding that precipitation and international oil prices are invalid instruments. The analysis documents, that higher food insecurity is significantly associated with a higher risk of civil conflict incidence in Africa. Thus, the empirical results support the theoretical expectations of greed and grievance theory. The significant relationship between food insecurity and civil conflict incidence remains robust to both OLS and IV-estimation, to the inclusion of several control variables and to changing data sources and variable definitions.
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Bogmærk denne post:
 Type: Speciale
Alternativ titel: A quantitative analysis of the effect of food insecurity on civil conflict in Africa
Alternativ titel: Er sult et fundamentet for borgerkrig i Afrika?
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Sprog: English - eng
 Datoer: 2013-04-28
 Sider: -
 Publiceringsinfo: København : Københavns Universitet
 Indholdsfortegnelse: Abstract I
Tables and figures IV
Abbreviations . IV
1. Introduction 1
1.1. Main contribution – establish causality 3
1.2. Relevance of the study . 6
1.3. Structure of the thesis 7
2. Theories on civil conflict 8
2.1. Grievance . 9
2.2. Greed . 11
2.3. Combining greed and grievance . 13
2.4. How food insecurity causes civil conflict . 14
3. Conceptualization and measurement 19
3.1. Food insecurity 20
3.1.1. Conceptualization 20
3.1.2. Operationalization . 23
3.1.3. The FAO indicator of the prevalence of undernourishment 25
3.2. Civil conflict . 29
3.2.1. Conceptualization 30
3.2.2. Operationalization . 31
3.2.3. The Armed Conflict Data from UCDP/PRIO . 34
4. Methods 36
4.1. The method of instrumental variables 36
4.1.1. Precipitation 40
4.1.2. International food prices 41
4.2. Data and coding. 42
4.2.1. Dependent variables 42
4.2.2. The independent variable . 43
4.2.3. Instrumental variables . 43
4.2.4. Control variables 45
4.3. Descriptive statistics . 46
5. OLS results . 48
6. First-stage results – looking for valid instruments 53
6.1. Instrument relevance 53
6.1.1. Instrument relevance when using alternative forms and measures 57
6.2. Instrument exogeneity 60
6.2.1. Precipitation 60
6.2.2. International food prices 63
6.3. International crude oil prices . 64
7. Second-stage results 66
7.1. Food insecurity and civil conflict . 66
7.2. Food insecurity and conflict initiation, type and size . 69
7.3. Robustness checks 71
8. Conclusion . 73
8.1. Policy recommendations 74
8.2. Future studies . 78
9. Literature 80
Appendix 1: Longitude and latitude nodes used in the calculation of each country’s rainfall estimates . 90
Appendix 2: First-stage results using other instrumental variables 94
Appendix 3: Second-stage results using other international food price measures (instrumental variables) 95
Appendix 4: Second-stage results using other food insecurity measures (independent variables) . 95
Appendix 5: Do-file (STATA 12) . 96
Tables and figures
Figure 1: Simultaneous causality between food insecurity and civil conflict . 4
Table 1: Greed and grievance theory 9
Figure 2: The expected effect of food insecurity on civil conflict 17
Table 2: Conceptualization and operationalization – the process of disaggregation 21
Table 3: Prevalence of Undernourishment – the process of aggregation . 26
Table 4: Food insecurity indicators – correlation and empirical scope . 28
Table 5: Conceptualization and operationalization – the process of disaggregation 30
Table 6: Civil conflict – the process of aggregation 34
Figure 3: Using instrumental variables to address endogeneity 37
Table 7: Descriptive statistics – main variables . 46
Table 8: OLS results – Food Insecurity and Conflict . 52
Table 9: First-stage results – International Food Prices, Precipitation and Food Insecurity . 56
Table 10: Second-stage results – Food Insecurity and Civil Conflict 67
Figure 4: Comparing OLS and IV results . 67
Table 11: Second-stage results – Food Insecurity and Conflict Initiation, Type and Size . 69
Figure 5: Policy initiatives to eliminate food insecurity and civil conflict . 75
 Note: -
 Type: Speciale
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