Causes of Civil War: Micro Level Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire
A multiethnic country like Côte d’Ivoire, which was relatively stable until the late 1980s, has been mired in crisis in the last two decades and experienced large-scale violence. This paper undertakes a disaggregated analysis of the civil war at sub-national levels in Cote d’Ivoire for the period from 1998 to 2006 using: (1) nationally representative household survey data, and (2) the ACLED conflict database that contains information on the date and geographical location of conflicts. We use both the department and the sub-prefecture levels as units of analysis, and find robust evidence that ethnic diversity is significantly associated with conflicts. We also find strong empirical evidence that the share of Ivoirites population and the share of Muslim population is a significant determinant of civil war at the sub-prefecture level. Furthermore, more populous areas are at high risk of civil war, but the outcome is statistically significant only at the department level. However, we do not find significant evidence that income inequality and land inequality have determined the level of civil conflict. Overall the findings suggest ethnicity and religious identities are the significant determinants of civil war in Cote d’Ivoire.