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Abstract

We combine original geo-referenced data on mining extraction of 15 minerals with information on conflict events at spatial resolution of 0.5o x 0.5o for all Africa over 1997-2010. Exploiting exogenous variations in world prices, we find a positive impact of mining on conflict at the local level. Quantitatively, the historical rise in prices (commodity super-cycle) explains 15-25 percent of average country-level violence in Africa. We then document how the appropriation of a mining area by a fighting group contributes to the escalation from local to global violence. Finally, we analyze the impact of corporate practices and transparency initiatives in the mining industry.

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