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On conflict over natural resources

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  • Reuveny, Rafael
  • Maxwell, John W.
  • Davis, Jefferson
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    Abstract

    This paper considers a game theoretic framework of repeated conflict over natural resource extraction, in which the victory in each engagement is probabilistic and the winner takes all the extracted resource. Every period, each contesting group allocates its capabilities, or power, between resource extraction and fighting over the extracted amount. The probability of victory rises with fighting effort, but a weaker group can still win an encounter. The victorious group wins all of the extracted resources and converts them to power, and the game repeats. In one model, groups openly access the resource. In a variant of the model, the stronger group can access a larger part of the resource than its rival, while in a second variant of the model the advantage of the dominant group is made more decisive than in the first two models. Our models generate outcomes that mimic several aspects of real-world conflict, including full military mobilization, defeats in one or repeated battles, victories following defeats, changes in relative dominance, and surrender. We examine comparative dynamics with respect to changes in the resource attributes, resource extraction, initial power allocation, fighting capabilities, and power accumulation. The policy implications are evaluated, and future research avenues are discussed.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VDY-51XMMPD-1/2/11a4c6fe3a047b04390fc6afcd977d92
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (February)
    Pages: 698-712

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:4:p:698-712

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Game theoretic model Dynamics Simulations Policy;

    References

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    1. Alexis Jacquemin, 1987. "The New Industrial Organization: Market Forces and Strategic Behavior," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262600145, December.
    2. Suzuki, Yukari & Iwasa, Yoh, 2009. "Conflict between groups of players in coupled socio-economic and ecological dynamics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1106-1115, February.
    3. Garfinkel, M.R. & Skaperdas, S., 2000. "Conflict without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: how the Future Matters," Papers 99-00-11, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    4. G. D. Hess, 1995. "An Introduction To Lewis Fry Richardson and His Mathematical Theory of War and Peace," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 14(1), pages 77-113, February.
    5. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
    6. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
    7. Jack Hirshleifer, 1991. "The Paradox Of Power," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 177-200, November.
    8. Maxwell, John W. & Reuveny, Rafael, 2005. "Continuing conflict," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 30-52, September.
      • John W. Maxwell & Rafael Reuveny, 2004. "Continuing Conflict," Working Papers 2004-27, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    9. Anderton, Charles H & Anderton, Roxane A & Carter, John R, 1999. "Economic Activity in the Shadow of Conflict," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(1), pages 166-79, January.
    10. Luterbacher Urs, 2001. "Property Rights, State Structures, and International Cooperation," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(3), pages 1-30, July.
    11. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
    12. Rafael Reuveny, 2002. "Economic Growth, Environmental Scarcity, and Conflict," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 83-110, 02.
    13. Welsch, Heinz, 2008. "Resource abundance and internal armed conflict: Types of natural resources and the incidence of 'new wars'," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 503-513, October.
    14. BenDor, Todd & Scheffran, J├╝rgen & Hannon, Bruce, 2009. "Ecological and economic sustainability in fishery management: A multi-agent model for understanding competition and cooperation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1061-1073, February.
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