From global to local, food insecurity is associated with contemporary armed conflicts
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Food security has attracted widespread attention in recent years. Yet, scientists and practitioners have predominately understood food security in terms of dietary energy availability and nutrient deficiencies, rather than in terms of food security’s consequential implications for social and political violence. The present study offers the first global evaluation of the effects of food insecurity on local conflict dynamics. An economic approach is adopted to empirically evaluate the degree to which food insecurity concerns produce an independent effect on armed conflict using comprehensive geographic data. Specifically, two agricultural output measures – a geographic area’s extent of cropland and a given agricultural location’s amount of cropland per capita – are used to respectively measure the access to and availability of (i.e., the demand and supply of) food in a given region. Findings show that food insecurity measures are robustly associated with the occurrence of contemporary armed conflict.
KeywordsFood security Civil war Resource scarcity Agriculture Social
Compliance with ethical standards
Ore Koren developed the theory for the paper and conducted primary analysis. Benjamin Bagozzi constructed datasets for the paper and conducted secondary analysis. Ore Koren and Benjamin Benjamin wrote the paper.
Data and materials availability
All replication data and files can be found on Harvard’s Dataverse.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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