Oil Prices and Interstate Conflict Behavior

Working Paper
July 2014

Anecdotal evidence suggests high oil prices embolden leaders in oil-rich states to pursue more aggressive foreign policies. This article tests the conjecture in a sample of 153 countries for the time period 1947–2001. It finds strong evidence of a contingent effect of oil prices on interstate disputes, with high oil prices associated with significant increases in dispute behavior among oil-exporting states, while having either a negative or null effect on dispute behavior in nonexporting states.

Data disclosure: The data underlying this analysis are available here [xlsx].