Climate change and civil conflict in SSA and MENA: The same phenomena, but different mechanisms?

In this paper, the mechanisms of climate change impacts on the incidence of civil conflict are tested separately in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) compared to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the period 1981 to 2015. We draw several conclusions: (i) Climate has a significant impact on economic development, through economic growth rate in the MENA, and food production in SSA. (ii) Economic growth rate and food production index are significant indicators for social stability reduce the risk of civil conflict, in SSA and MENA, respectively. (iii) A direct impact of climate change on civil conflict is identified. (iv) Conflict in the previous year increases the probability of civil conflict in SSA by 0.30 pp, and in the MENA by 0.50 pp. Moreover, as the type of political system and accountability are important control variables in SSA, water availability reduces the risks of conflict in the MENA region. However, there appears to be evidence of different mechanisms in different regions. However, the identification of stable mechanisms needs to be precisely addressed in future work.




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