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Peace and War With Endogenous State Capacity

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Author Info

  • Michael McBride

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA, mcbride@uci.edu)

  • Gary Milante

    (The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA)

  • Stergios Skaperdas

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA)

Abstract

We explore how peace or war can occur in the presence of commitment problems. These problems can be reduced by institutions of good governance or, alternatively, state capacity which (a) can be considered a collective good and (b) can be improved through investments. We show how the likelihood of a peace agreement depends on the level of state capacity and on investments in state capacity made by adversaries. In accordance with existing evidence but contrary to various theories of conflict, we find that income levels unambiguously increase the chance of peace. Among other issues, we discuss the critical role of external actors in encouraging or discouraging commitment and in developing good governance institutions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Volume (Year): 55 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 446-468

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:55:y:2011:i:3:p:446-468

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Web page: http://pss.la.psu.edu/

Related research

Keywords: conflict; institutions; governance; civil war;

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References

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  1. Michael McBride & Stergios Skaperdas, 2009. "Conflict, Settlement, and the Shadow of the Future," CESifo Working Paper Series 2897, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 6355.
  3. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
  4. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War," NBER Working Papers 14801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Theorizing about conflict," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier, in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 165-189 Elsevier.
  6. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  7. Genicot, C. & Skaperdas, S., 2000. "Investing in Confict Management," Papers, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences 00-01-17, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  8. Garfinkel, M.R. & Skaperdas, S., 2000. "Conflict without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: how the Future Matters," Papers, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences 99-00-11, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  9. Jack Hirshleifer, 1995. "Theorizing About Conflict," UCLA Economics Working Papers, UCLA Department of Economics 727, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Mario Chacón & James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik, 2011. "When is Democracy an Equilibrium? Theory and Evidence from Colombia’s La Violencia," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(3), pages 366-396, June.
  11. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
  12. Werner, Suzanne & Yuen, Amy, 2005. "Making and Keeping Peace," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(02), pages 261-292, April.
  13. Avner Greif, 1997. "Self-enforcing Political System and Economic Growth: Late Medieval Genoa," Working Papers, Stanford University, Department of Economics 97037, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  14. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938, August.
  15. Michael McBride & Stergios Skaperdas, 2005. "Explaining Conflict in Low-Income Countries: Incomplete Contracting in the Shadow of the Future," Working Papers 050606, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  16. Anbarci, N. & Skaperdas, S. & Syropoulos, C., 2000. "Comparing Bargaining Solutions in the Shadow of Conflict: How Norms Against Threats Can Have Real Effects," Papers, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences 00-01-19, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  17. Stergios Skaperdas, 2006. "Bargaining Versus Fighting," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(6), pages 657-676.
  18. Anna K. Jarstad & Desiree Nilsson, 2008. "From Words to Deeds: The Implementation of Power-Sharing Pacts in Peace Accords," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), Peace Science Society (International), vol. 25(3), pages 206-223, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stergios Skaperdas, 2011. "The costs of organized violence: a review of the evidence," Economics of Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-23, March.
  2. Armey, Laura E. & McNab, Robert M., 2012. "Democratization and civil war," MPRA Paper 42460, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Michael McBride & Stergios Skaperdas, 2011. "Governance and Norms as Determinants of Arming," Working Papers 111203, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  4. Stergios Skaperdas, 2011. "Proprietary Public Finance: On Its Emergence and Evolution Out of Anarchy," Working Papers 101110, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  5. Antonis Adam & Petros G. Sekeris, 2010. "Self-Containment: Achieving Peace in Anarchic Settings," Working Papers 1014, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
  6. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2010. "Trade in the Shadow of Power," Working Papers 101105, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2011.
  7. Cingolani, Luciana, 2013. "The State of State Capacity: a review of concepts, evidence and measures," MERIT Working Papers 053, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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