Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Aiding Conflict: The Impact of U.S. Food Aid on Civil War

Author(s): Nathan Nunn and Nancy Qian

Publication Date: February 2012

Keyword(s): Civil Conflict, Foreign Aid and Humanitarian Aid

Programme Area(s): Development Economics

Abstract: This paper examines the effect of U.S. food aid on conflict in recipient countries. To establish a causal relationship, we exploit time variation in food aid caused by fluctuations in U.S. wheat production together with cross-sectional variation in a country's tendency to receive any food aid from the United States. Our estimates show that an increase in U.S. food aid increases the incidence, onset and duration of civil conflicts in recipient countries. Our results suggest that the effects are larger for smaller scale civil conflicts. No effect is found on interstate warfare.

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Bibliographic Reference

Nunn, N and Qian, N. 2012. 'Aiding Conflict: The Impact of U.S. Food Aid on Civil War'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.