Good Intentions Gone Bad? The Dodd-Frank Act and Conflict in Africa’s Great Lakes Region


The Dodd-Frank Act imposes reporting requirements on US companies regarding supply chain links to conflict minerals. Previous research uses within-DRC variation in the location of mineral mines to identify the effect of the Dodd-Frank Act on conflict. Due to the presence of spillovers, these previous estimates may underestimate the effect. Moreover, the legislation regulates reporting on minerals mined in the DRC and all countries surrounding the DRC. To fully evaluate this legislation, I investigate the prevalence of conflict events in the DRC and all surrounding countries. Difference-in-differences estimates suggest that, although there is no evidence of any reduction in conflict within all covered countries pooled together, the unintended consequences of this legislation within the DRC may be larger than previously reported. Supplemental analyses (i) investigate possible mechanisms that drive these results and (ii) find that the enforcement suspension of the legislation is unlikely to reduce conflict in the DRC.

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