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An economic approach to analyzing civil wars

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  • Stergios Skaperdas

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Abstract

Civil wars and conflict can be understood from an economic point of view only if there is incomplete contracting. I examine such settings and first discuss sources of incomplete contracting, from geography and ethnic and social distance to external interventions due to geopolitics or the presence of rents. Yet, since war is destructive, the contending parties might normally be expected to settle in the shadow of war. One reason that sometimes they do not, contrary to conventional wisdom, is because the shadow of the future is too long. Subsequently, using a formal model for guidance I examine some consequences of civil wars and emphasize the role hierarchical organization and rents play in determining the severity of conflict.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economics of Governance.

Volume (Year): 9 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 25-44

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Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:9:y:2008:i:1:p:25-44

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Related research

Keywords: Warlords; Incomplete contracting; Conflict; Appropriation; Anarchy; Shadow of the future; D74; F5; H56; O40;

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References

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  1. Mehlum,H. & Moene,K. & Torvik,R., 2000. "Predator or prey? : parasitic enterprises in economic development," Memorandum 27/2000, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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  25. Anbarci, Nejat & Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2002. "Comparing Bargaining Solutions in the Shadow of Conflict: How Norms against Threats Can Have Real Effects," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 1-16, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War: A Review of Fifty Years of Research," Working Papers id:2231, eSocialSciences.
  2. Baten, Joerg & Mumme, Christina, 2013. "Does inequality lead to civil wars? A global long-term study using anthropometric indicators (1816–1999)," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 56-79.
  3. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War," NBER Working Papers 14801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Tridimas, George, 2011. "The political economy of power-sharing," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 328-342, June.
  5. Ahmed Saber Mahmud & Juan F. Vargas, 2008. "Combatant recruitment and the outcome of war," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 005029, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  6. Michael McBride & Stergios Skaperdas, 2005. "Explaining Conflict in Low-Income Countries: Incomplete Contracting in the Shadow of the Future," CESifo Working Paper Series 1636, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. 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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