From Rags to Rifles: The Economics of Deprivation, Conflict and Welfare State
AbstractHistorical evidence has taught us that it is often the poorest and most deprived people in unequal societies who are recruited to fight in civil wars. The present contribution constructs a theoretical model of the choice between appropriation and production, where conflict is represented as mutual stealing. Fully specified production functions allow for both symmetrical outcomes and for introducing inequalities in abilities and endowments. It is shown that people with lower marginal returns to productive activities due to lower ability, fewer endowments or discrimination are more likely to choose appropriative activities. Further, it is examined theoretically under what conditions welfare state policies such as redistribution of income and capital, as well as education, health and poverty-alleviation spending, can lead to less appropriative activities. Finally, the model.s implications are tested empirically using logit estimations.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0771.
Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Conflict; deprivation; welfare state; poverty; appropriative activities.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
- I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-06-13 (All new papers)
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