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The Economics of Conflict - Empirical Research in Institutional Economics

Dr. Laura Renner

TeilnehmerInnen max. 10
Zielgruppe MSc VWL/IMP(Econ.&Pol.) 
Sprache Englisch


Based on critical discussion and replication of the existing literature on both determinants as well as consequences of conflict (ranging from civil war to social unrest) we will discuss questions such as the connections between economic inequality, political repression, poverty or gender inequality and conflict. Each student will be working on a specific article allocated in the beginning. During the seminar, you will replicate and extend the article using the statistical program Stata. In the mandatory tutorial, Stata and the application of relevant methods for conflict studies will be introduced. In the block seminar, we will discuss everybody’s results so that we get to learn about different perspectives, methods and questions related to conflict.

Please note: Depending on the covid-19 situation, the seminar will be hybrid (in person meetings for the block seminar and the Stata tutorial in the PC Pool) or entirely online.

Requirements: Knowledge in statistics and econometrics

Introductory Literature:

  • Blattman, C. and E. Miguel (2010): Civil War. Journal of Economic Literature 48 (1): 3 – 57.
  • Hegre, H. and N. Sambanis (2006): Sensitivity Analysis of Empirical Results on Civil War Onset. Journal of Conflict Resolution 50 (4): 508–535.
  • Collier, P. (1999): On the Economic Consequences of Civil War. Oxford Economic Papers 51 (1):168–183
  • Collier, P. and A. Hoeffler (2004): Greed and Grievance in Civil War. Oxford Economic Papers,
    56 (4): 563–595.
  • Why replications and extensions? Check out for example: Liang, W., & Sim, N. (2019). Did rainfall shocks cause civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa? The implications of data revisions. European Journal of Political Economy, 60, 101808.



  • Application until October 1st, 2021 (with the application form, a ranking of preferred topics, and a transcript of records)
  • Allocation of topics by October 9th, 2021
  • First meeting (mandatory): October 19th, 2021, 14.00-18.00 h, ONLINE or in person (tbc))
  • Withdrawal after October 19th, 2021 is not possible
  • Block seminar: January 13th, 2022, from 9.00 to 16.00 and January 14th, 2022, from 9.00 to 16.00, ONLINE or in person
  • Handing in presentations: January 12th, 2022
  • Handing in the final paper: February 1st, 2022
  • Individual meetings to discuss extension ideas/structure of the seminar paper with Dr. Renner (online or in person meetings, prior booking required): November 12th, 2021 (9-14h) and December 10th, 2021 (9-14h)


Stata tutorial:

  • Stata introduction (PC pool or online): October 22nd 2021, 9-14 h
  • Asynchronous: Descriptive Statistics, Estimation Techniques
  • Problem Set on How-to-Work-With-Stata with discussion in PC pool or online on October 29th, 2021, 9-14h
  • Live online Q&A for smaller questions concerning Stata: Fridays, 9- 11h o November 19th, 2021
     -   December 3rd,2021
     -   December 17th, 2021
     -   January 21st, 2022


4 ECTS: Not possible

6 ECTS: Seminar participants have to write a seminar paper (4,500-5,000 words plus tables, graphs and references), and to give a presentation in the first meeting (5 minutes) as well as in the block seminar in January (25 minutes). In the paper, we expect a critical discussion of the paper, a reasoning for the extension and a discussion of the results. A placement in the literature is expected and the foundation for the critical discussion and the extension.


The List of Topics and all other information can be found here.


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