Working Paper BETA #2020-19

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Title : Beyond climate and conflict relationships: new evidence from copulas analysis

Author(s) : Olivier Damette, Stephane Goutte

Abstract : This paper contributes to the new climate-society literature (Carleton and Hsiang, 2016) by analysing the role of climate in conflicts over the historical period from 1500 to 1800, in the vein of the recent literature initiated by Tol and Wagner (2010) and Burke and Hsiang (2014). As far as we know, this study is the first to apply copulas and time-varying copula analysis to climate-economics literature and to the analysis of climate and conflicts in a historical time series context. Effects of temperatures, precipitation and ENSO/NAO teleconnection on conflicts were investigated. Copula analysis enabled us to identify a positive dependence between temperatures and conflicts, and negative or positive dependences between anomalous precipitation and conflicts, by explicitly focusing on the joint marginal distribution of our variables. Using a time-varying approach, we were also able to precisely identify the periods/regimes during which the link between climate and conflict was genuinely active and then check the robustness of previous literature, such as Zhang et al. (2006, 2007, 2011).

Key-words : Climate change, Conflicts, Social Disturbances, Global Crisis, Copulas.

JEL Classification : C33, O40, Q54.