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OSUG - Terre Univers Environnement

Water Scarcity and Rioting: Disaggregated Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

Séminaire de Jérémy Laurent Lucchetti, jeudi 29 juin à 11h salle Lliboutry, Bâtiment Glaciologie

by Sandra Rome - 20 June 2017

Abstract: It is often purported that unusually dry weather conditions provoke small-scale social conflict - riots - by intensifying the competition for water. The present paper explores this hypothesis, using data from Sub-Saharan Africa. We rely on monthly data at the cell level (0.5x0.5 degrees), an approach that is tailored to the short-lived and local nature of the phenomenon. Using a drought index to proxy for weather shocks (the SPEI), we find that a one-standard-deviation fall in the index (signaling drier conditions) raises the likelihood of riots in a given cell and month by 8.3%. We further observe that the effect of unusually dry weather conditions is substantially larger in cells with a lower availability of water resources (such as rivers and lakes), a finding that supports the significance of the competition-for-water mechanism.

Jérémy Laurent Lucchetti works in the "Institut d’économie et d’économétrie" at the University of Geneva (Switzerland).

The seminar is moderated by Théo Vischel (IGE-PhyREV)





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