Does Crime Pay Enough? Diamond Prices, Lootability and Ethnic War
Journal of Conflict Management
Natural resources are thought to be at the root of many civil conflicts, but no consensus has emerged on the mechanisms at play in the resources-conflict relationship, and some question whether such a relationship exists. This paper compares the state prize variant of the greed theory with the lootability approach. We employ a time-series cross-sectional design to analyze how secondary diamond production, primary diamond production, and diamond price influence the onset of ethnic wars in 48 Sub-Saharan African countries between 1960 and 2010. Our results suggest that purely additive models are unlikely to reveal the relationship between diamonds and ethnic conflict. We find some support for the lootability mechanism, but our findings better support the hypothesis that natural resources increase the value of the state and therefore encourage rebels to try to capture state power. Our findings also point to resources’ potential to bolster government capacity.
Jensen, C. B.,
Does Crime Pay Enough? Diamond Prices, Lootability and Ethnic War.
Journal of Conflict Management, 5(1),