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The Economics of Coercion and Conflict: an Introduction

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  • Harrison, Mark

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This chapter introduces the author’s selected papers on the economics of coercion and conflict. It defines coercion and conflict and relates them. In conflict, adversaries make costly investments in the means of coercion. The application of coercion does not remove choice but limits it to options that leave the victim worse off than before. Coercion and conflict are always political, but a number of key concepts from economics can help us understand them. These include rational choice, strategic interaction, increasing and diminishing returns, scale and state capacity, surplus extraction, and Type I errors. The chapter concludes that the economist’s toolkit, although not complete, is useful.

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Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 151.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:151

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Keywords: Coercion; Conflict; Games; Errors; Increasing Returns; Rational Choice; Scale; Surplus; Violence.;

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References

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  1. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  2. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2007. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," NBER Working Papers 13028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Harrison, Mark; Wolf, Nikolaus, 2011. "The Frequency of Wars," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 38, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  4. Brennan, Geoffrey & Tullock, Gordon, 1982. "An economic theory of military tactics : Methodological individualism at war," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(2-3), pages 225-242.
  5. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
  6. Andrei Markevich, 2007. "How Much Control is Enough? Monitoring and Enforcement under Stalin," Working Papers w0110, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  7. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Political Economy of Hatred," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 45-86, January.
  8. Weingast, Barry R, 1995. "The Economic Role of Political Institutions: Market-Preserving Federalism and Economic Development," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, April.
  9. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  10. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2011. "Trade and Insecure Resources," Working Papers 111201, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2013.
  11. Mark Harrison, 2006. "An Economist Looks at Suicide Terrorism," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 7(3), pages 1-15, July.
  12. Brauer, Jurgen & van Tuyll, Hubert, 2008. "Castles, Battles, and Bombs," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226071633, August.
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