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International Commodity Prices, Growth and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa*


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     UPF and UPF-ICREA respectively. This is a revision of ‘Growth, Democracy, and Civil War’ (CEPR DP 6568, 2007). We are grateful to Lars Feld, Marta Reynal-Querol, Andrew Scott, Roland Vaubel, and two referees for useful comments. Ciccone gratefully acknowledges research support from CREI and CREA, FEDEA-BBVA and Spanish Ministry of Science grants SEJ2007-64340 and ECO2008-02779.


To learn more about the effect of economic conditions on civil war, we examine whether Sub-Saharan civil wars are more likely to start following downturns in the international price of countries’ main export commodities. The data show a robust effect of commodity price downturns on the outbreak of civil wars. We also find that Sub-Saharan countries are more likely to see civil wars following economic downturns in their main OECD export destinations.