International Society for Quantitative History

QH Webinar Series

Borderline Disorder: (De facto) Historical Ethnic Borders and Contemporary Conflict in Africa

09:00 | Thursday, October 15, 2020

Zoom Webinar

English

Ömer Özak

Ömer Özak

Associate Professor of Economics, Southern Methodist University

Africa Murdock 1959 by George Murdock, Suzanne Blier, Nathan Nunn

Ömer Özak and his coauthor explore the effect of historical ethnic borders on contemporary non-civil conflict in Africa. Exploiting variations across artificial regions (i.e., grids of 50x50km) within an ethnicity's historical homeland, they document that both the intensive and extensive margins of contemporary conflict are concentrated close to historical ethnic borders. Following a theory-based instrumental variable approach, which generates a plausibly exogenous ethno-spatial partition of Africa, they find that grid cells with historical ethnic borders have 27 percentage points higher probability of conflict and 7.9 percentage points higher probability of being the initial location of a conflict. In this Quantitative History Webinar, Ömer will share their findings and explain in great detail the key underlying mechanisms: competition for agricultural land, population pressure, cultural similarity and weak property rights.

Ömer's coauthor is Emilio Depetris-Chauvin (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile).

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Zoom Webinar

Ömer Özak

English

The Quantitative History Webinar Series aims to provide researchers, teachers, and students with an online intellectual platform to keep up to date with the latest research in the field, promoting the dissemination of research findings and interdisciplinary use of quantitative methods in historical research. The Series, now in its third year, is co-organized by the International Society for Quantitative History, HKU Business School, and Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 量化歷史網上講座系列由香港大學陳志武和馬馳騁教授聯合發起,旨在介紹前沿量化歷史研究成果、促進同仁交流,推廣量化方法在歷史研究中的應用。本系列講座由國際量化歷史學會、香港大學經管學院和香港人文社會研究所全力支持和承辦。

Conveners: Professor Zhiwu Chen & Dr. Chicheng Ma (HKU Business School)

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