A Multidimensional Empirical Analysis of Mineral Resources in African Civil War 1989-2010

McDonald, Drew [Browse]
Senior thesis
82 pages


Shapiro, Jake [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
This thesis examines two competing theories of the role of mineral resources in African civil war with a monthly subnational dataset of twenty-four countries in the period 1989-2010. It first examines the claim that increases in resource values reduce conflict intensity by drawing rebel labor to mineral production instead of rebel enlistment. It then tests an opposite claim that rising resource values increase conflict intensity by funding rebel war chests. It finds that these opposite effects are both valid but manifest themselves over different time horizons. Over the full course of a conflict, higher resource values result in reduced conflict by increasing the opportunity cost of rebel enlistment. In the short term, however, month-on-month increases in resource value result in an overall intensification of conflict by increasing rebel revenues. This temporal differentiation extends previous findings with a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of the role of mineral resources in African civil war.

Supplementary Information