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Empirical studies on the causes of civil war robustly show that poor countries are more likely to suffer civil war than rich ones. However, the interpretations of this finding differ. The literature proposes three different causal mechanisms: (1) poverty leads to grievances; (2) income proxies the opportunity-cost of rebelling; and (3) income proxies state capacity. Using factor analysis, logistic modeling and multiple imputation, we test which of the three possible explanations can bestdoi:10.1177/0738894212473923 fatcat:cyy47mbfczf6re2nvazznbw7ey