Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rezek, Jon

Committee Member

Chi, Guangqing

Committee Member

Williamson, Claudia R.

Committee Member

Campbell, Randall C.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Applied Economics

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Business


Department of Finance and Economics


Civil wars, insecurity, and ethnic disputes have imposed a high human and economic toll in Africa. In this dissertation, I examine the destructive impacts of war on agricultural productivity growth across the continent. Poor agricultural sector performance is more likely to be present around or during times of conflict. Using a panel of 51 countries from 1962-2009 I find that war impedes agricultural productivity growth. But a decline in productivity growth is not associated with the onset of civil war. Results show that low per capita income, stagnant economic growth, a large population, and lack of political freedom correspond to higher incidence of war, while conflict and lack of rainfall are associated with low agricultural productivity growth. I find that armed conflict reduces agricultural productivity growth by 0.76 percent per year and a major armed conflict reduces TFP growth by 1.16 percent. The incidence of a major armed conflict is associated with an efficiency decline in the year by 1.24 percent, substantial setback, for more than three-quarters of countries. This dissertation extends the discussion from productivity and efficiency analysis to the inclusion of the spatial dimension by applying exploratory and confirmatory spatial data analysis and capitalizing on successful spatial techniques and analytical tools proven in geospatial science. The exploratory spatial data analysis provides evidence of spatial autocorrelation in agricultural TFP growth rates in Africa. The results of hot spot analysis reveal that Algeria, Tunisia, Libya in the northern region and Nigeria and Benin in the western region constitute hot spots of agricultural performance and the cold spot, which includes areas of meager productivity, Rwanda and Burundi in central Africa. Africa suffers substantial losses in agricultural productivity when certain countries experience major armed conflict. The dissertation shows that a war may reduce productivity in a given country, but its real effects are larger because it impacts surrounding countries. Overall African TFP declined by 0.0572 percent per year as a result of conflict in Sudan. A war in the Democratic Republic of Congo caused African TFP growth to decline by 0.0285 percent per year.



Africa||Panel data econometrics||political disruption||Spatial investigation||Statistical investigation||Agricultural sector||Total factor productivity||Spatial econometrics||Spatial spillovers