We discuss the literature on natural resources and violent conflict. The theoretical literature is rich and ambiguous, and the empirical literature is equally multifaceted. Theory predicts that resource booms or discoveries may attenuate or accentuate the risk of conflict, depending on various factors. Regression analyses also produce mixed signals and point to a plethora of mechanisms linking resources to conflict. The empirical literature is gradually evolving from cross-country conflict models to micro-level analyses, explaining variation in local intensity of conflict. This transition has resulted in more credible identification strategies and in an enhanced understanding of the complex relation between resources and conflict.
|Annual Review of Resource Economics
|Published - 2014