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Poor People and Risky Business

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  • Zuleta Hernando

    ()
    (Universidad del Rosario)

Abstract

We explain why economic conflicts and illegal business often take place in poor countries. We use the concept of subsistence level of consumption (d) and assume a regular concave utility function for consumption levels higher than d. For consumption levels lower than d utility is constant and equal to zero. Under this framework poor agents are risk-lovers. This result helps to explain why economic conflicts are more likely to appear in poor economies and why poor agents are more willing to undertake illegal business.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 14 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 1-18

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:pepspp:v:14:y:2008:i:1:n:5

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  1. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  3. Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanie, 2000. "Estimating Preferences under Risk: The Case of Racetrack Bettors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 503-530, June.
  4. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  5. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1992. "Cooperation, Conflict, and Power in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 720-39, September.
  6. Gerald Kennally, 2001. "Regulating the Trade in Recreational Drugs," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 69-82, January.
  7. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
  8. Fowler, Thomas B., 1996. "The international narcotics trade: Can it be stopped by interdiction?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 233-270, June.
  9. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1993. "Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 409-14, May.
  10. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  11. Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
  12. Piron, Robert & Smith, L. Ray, 1995. "Testing risklove in an experimental racetrack," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 465-474, August.
  13. Horowitz, Andrew W, 1993. "Time Paths of Land Reform: A Theoretical Model of Reform Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 1003-10, September.
  14. Edwards, Kimberley D., 1996. "Prospect theory: A literature review," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 19-38.
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Cited by:
  1. Lemus Natalia, 2014. "Conflict-Induced Poverty: Evidence from Colombia," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 113-142, January.
  2. Gustavo Adolfo Caballero Orozco, 2010. "Risk Preferences Under Extreme Poverty: A Field Experiment," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 007717, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  3. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
    [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION O
    ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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