Primary commodity exports and civil war

TitlePrimary commodity exports and civil war
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsFearon, JD
Contribution: 

 

I argue that an empirically more plausible and internally consistent explanation is that oil exporters are more prone to civil war because they tend to have weaker state institutions than other countries with the same per capita income (Fearon and Laitin 2003). States with high oil revenues have less incentive to develop administrative competence and control throughout their territory. So while oil revenues help a state against insurgents by providing more financial resources, compared to other countries with the same per capita income they should tend to have markedly less administrative and bureaucratic capacity. Furthermore, easy riches from oil make the state a more tempting prize relative to working in the regular economy.