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Extreme weather and civil war: does drought fuel conflict in Somalia through livestock price shocks?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>American Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number4
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)1157-1182
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


Climate change leads to more frequent and more intense droughts in Somalia. In a global context weather shocks have been found to perpetuate poverty and fuel civil conflict. By relating regional and temporal variations in violent conflict outbreaks and drought incidence and severity, we show that this causality is also valid for Somalia at the local level. We find that livestock price shocks drive drought-induced conflicts through reducing the opportunity costs of conflict participation. Our estimation results indicate that a temperature rise of around 3.2 degree Celcius—corresponding to the median IPCC scenario for Eastern Africa by the end of the century—would lower cattle prices by about 4 percent and, in turn, increase the number of violent conflict by about 58 percent. Hence climate change will further aggravate Somalia’s security challenges and calls for decisive action to strengthen both drought and conflict resilience, especially in pastoralist and agropastoralist livelihoods.