Does economic growth affect the likelihood of civil war? Answering this question requires dealing with reverse causation. Our approach exploits that international commodity prices have a significant effect on the income growth of Sub-Saharan African countries. We show that lower income growth makes civil war more likely in non-democracies. This effect is significantly weaker in democracies; as a result, we find no link between growth and civil war in these countries. Our reducedform results also indicate that lower international commodity price growth has no effect on civil war in democracies, but raises the likelihood of civil war incidence and onset in nondemocracies.
Commodity prices, rainfall, income growth, civil war
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