Mineral resources and conflicts in DRC: a case of ecological fallacy?
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We estimate the impact of geo-located mining concessions on the number of conflict events recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 1997 and 2007. Instrumenting the variable of interest with historical concessions interacted with changes in international prices of minerals, we unveil an ecological fallacy: whereas concessions have no effect on the number of conflicts at the territory level (lowest administrative unit), they do foster violence at the district level (higher administrative unit). We develop and validate empirically a theoretical model where the incentives of armed groups to exploit and protect mineral resources explain our empirical findings.
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