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

Nathan Nunn, Nancy Qian

NBER Working Paper No. 17794
Issued in January 2012
NBER Program(s):   DAE   EFG   ITI   PE   POL

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17794

U.S. Food Aid and Civil Conflict,” (with Nancy Qian), American Economic Review, forthcoming.

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