NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Population and Civil War

Daron Acemoglu, Leopoldo Fergusson, Simon Johnson

NBER Working Paper No. 23322
Issued in April 2017
NBER Program(s):Political Economy

Medical and public health innovations in the 1940s quickly resulted in significant health improvements around the world. Countries with initially higher mortality from infectious diseases experienced greater increases in life expectancy, population, and - over the following 40 years - social conflict. This result is robust across alternative measures of conflict and is not driven by differential trends between countries with varying baseline characteristics. At least during this time period, a faster increase in population made social conflict more likely, probably because it increased competition for scarce resources in low income countries.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23322

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