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CentrePiece article

Giant oilfields and civil conflict


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.


Yu-Hsiang Lei and Guy Michaels

21 May 2012     Paper Number CEPCP371

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This CentrePiece article is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.