Sep 25, 2013

The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa

From a paper by Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou 
. . . civil conflict is concentrated in the historical homeland of partitioned ethnicities. We also document that violence against civilians (child soldiering, village burning, abductions, rapes) and territorial changes between rebel groups, militias, and government forces are more prevalent in the homelands of split groups [from the abstract].
The authors . . .
[E]xploit a new rich geocoded dataset that reports information on more than 43, 000 conflict events over the period 1997−2010 [p. 31].
More specifically . . .
Our most conservative estimates suggest that civil conflict intensity is approximately 30% higher in areas where partitioned ethnicities reside as compared to the homelands of ethnic groups that have not been separated by the national borders. We further find that homelands of partitioned groups experience a 5% to 10% higher likelihood of a territorial control change between the government and rebel groups. It is not only army fighting that is concentrated in the homelands of partitioned groups. Violence against civilians is roughly 40% higher in regions where split groups reside. The evidence thus uncovers the on-going violent repercussions of the colonial border design [p. 2].
HT: Jacob A. Jordaan 

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