Annexation or Conquest? The Economics of Empire Building
AbstractThis paper develops an economic theory of empire building. This theory addresses the choice among three strategies that empire builders historically have used. We call these strategies Uncoerced Annexation, Coerced Annexation, and Attempted Conquest. The theory shows how the choice among these strategies depends on such factors as the economic gains from imperial expansion, the relative effectiveness of imperial armies, the costs of projecting imperial military power, and liquidity constraints on financing imperial armies. This theory also addresses the scope of imperial ambitions. The paper uses examples from the history of the Roman, Mongol, Ottoman, and Nazi German empires to illustrate the applicability of the theory.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Brown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2002-15.
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912
Other versions of this item:
- Herschel I. Grossman & Juan Mendoza, 2001. "Annexation or Conquest? The Economics of Empire Building," NBER Working Papers 8109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order; Noneconomic International Organizations;; Economic Integration and Globalization: General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2003-04-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-HPE-2003-04-21 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-LAM-2003-04-21 (Central & South America)
- NEP-POL-2003-04-21 (Positive Political Economics)
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