Climate Robustly Linked to Civil War in Africa

December 2010
Shanker Satyanath, Marshall Burke, Edward Miguel, John Dykema, and David Lobell.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107, No. 51.

We previously documented a link between climate variation and historical civil wars in sub-Saharan Africa . Buhaug disputes this link, generating a series of animated news reports. The relationship between climate and conflict is an important topic that deserves careful scientific scrutiny, but we believe Buhaug’s approach is undermined by basic econometric mistakes, leading to what is currently an unhelpful debate. We briefly describe two main shortcomings in his analysis here . . .