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CentrePiece article
Giant oilfields and civil conflict
Yu-Hsiang Lei and Guy Michaels
May 2012
Paper No' CEPCP371:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 17 (1) Spring 2012

JEL Classification: Q34; Q33; O13

Tags: natural resources; resource curse; petroleum; armed conflict; civil war

We use new data to examine the effects of giant oilfield discoveries around the world since 1946. On average, these discoveries increase per capita oil production and oil exports by up to 50 percent. But these giant oilfield discoveries also have a dark side: they increase the incidence of internal armed conflict by about 5-8 percentage points. This increased incidence of conflict due to giant oilfield discoveries is especially high for countries that had already experienced armed conflicts or coups in the decade prior to discovery.

This article summarises 'Do Giant Oilfield Discoveries Fuel Internal Armed Conflicts?' by Yu-Hsiang Lei and Guy Michaels, Centre for Economic Performance Discussion Paper No. 1089, November 2011