Civil Conflicts, Economic Shocks and Night-time Lights

Achim Ahrens*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    This study focuses on the effect of economic growth shocks on the risk of civil conflict outbreak in Africa. The data set covers African first-order administrative units and the time period 1992-2010. Since sub-national GDP is not available for Africa, night-time light data from satellites is used to predict economic growth. Economic growth is then instrumented with rainfall and temperature variables in order to identify the causal effect of economic growth on conflict risk. Furthermore, a spatial autoregressive panel model is estimated to examine the role of spill-over effects. Estimation results suggest strong spill-over effects, but provide no evidence for a significant effect of economic growth on civil conflict.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)433-444
    Number of pages12
    JournalPeace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


    • Africa
    • conflicts
    • night-time lights
    • rainfall
    • Spatial econometrics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Political Science and International Relations
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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