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Fighting against the odds

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  • Mehlum, Halvor

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Moene, Karl

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

Abstract

The fight for power is not only over immediate rents, but also over advantageous positions in future power struggles. When incumbency yields an extra fighting edge, current struggles involve high stakes as a victory today may guarantee the victory also tomorrow. Such an incumbency edge may stem from the control of the army, the police and other instruments reserved for the government. The conclusions drawn from static conflict models are turned on their head when the fight is also over the incumbency edge. A sharper incumbency edge increases the implicit prizes of winning. The fighting intensity may therefore rise when the strength of each side becomes more unequal. Unbalanced fights can last long and become particularly severe. This is in contrast to the standard result that equal strengths give the most intense fighting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 03/2005.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2005_003

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
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Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Keywords: Violent conflicts; Rent-seeking games; contests;

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References

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  1. Garfinkel, M.R. & Skaperdas, S., 2000. "Conflict without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: how the Future Matters," Papers 99-00-11, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  2. Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1996. "Can the shadow of the future harm cooperation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 355-372, May.
  3. Konrad, Kai A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2009. "Multi-battle contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 256-274, May.
  4. Konrad, Kai A, 2001. "Investment in the Absence of Property Rights: The Role of Incumbency Advantages," CEPR Discussion Papers 3050, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1998. "Competition over More Than One Prize," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 276-89, March.
  6. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Münster, Johannes, 2008. "Repeated contests with asymmetric information," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2008-08, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  2. Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2008. "Party cues and yardstick voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 470-477, June.
  3. Matthew Baker & Erwin Bulte, 2010. "Kings and Vikings: on the dynamics of competitive agglomeration," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 207-227, June.
  4. Hausken, Kjell & Bier, Vicki M., 2011. "Defending against multiple different attackers," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 211(2), pages 370-384, June.
  5. Virág, Gábor, 2009. "Efficiency and competition in the long run: The survival of the unfit," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 315-330, September.
  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. Michael McBride & Stergios Skaperdas, 2009. "Conflict, Settlement, and the Shadow of the Future," CESifo Working Paper Series 2897, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2012. "Party cues in elections under multilevel governance: Theory and evidence from US states," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-107, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  9. J. Atsu Amegashie, 2005. "Asymmetry And Collusion In Infinitely Repeated Contests," Working Papers 0509, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.

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