Every year, riots cause a substantial number of fatalities in less-advanced countries. This paper explores the role of agricultural output shocks in explaining riots. Our theory predicts a negative relationship between the level of rioting and the deviation of the actual output from the average one. Relying on monthly data at the cell level (0.5×0.5 degrees), and using a drought index to proxy for output shocks, our empirical analysis confirms such a negative relationship for Sub-Saharan Africa: A one-standard-deviation decrease in the drought index rises the likelihood of a riot in a given cell and month by 8.4 percent. The use of highly disaggregated data accounts for the fact that riots are temporally and geographically confined events.
|Name||Bath Economics Research Working Papers|
- social unrest
- economic shocks
- disaggregated analysis