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Incentives and Survival in Violent Conflicts

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Abstract

This paper analytically investigates the incentive scheme of perpetrators of violent conflicts. It provides a rational equilibrium framework to elicit how monetary incentives and survival considerations shape a combatant’s decision to participate in a conflict. In the model, a leader decides to award soldiers monetary incentives. Civilians finance the militia via donations and soldiers decide on the actual fighting and indulge in looting. We explore the scheduled decision-making that takes place on the path toward a violent conflict and study the principal–agent relationship that exists between the leader and the militia. In addition, we analyze the effect of several internal factors (productivity and survival risk) and external factors (relative economic resources, opponents’ military strength) on the intensity of the conflict. The model shows that soldiers fighting decisions are set by personal mortality risk and the level of identification with the cause of war. In addition, our results link between monetary incentives and participation in fighting and demonstrate a substitution effect of looting and donations as monetary incentives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France in its series IDEP Working Papers with number 1102.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision: Apr 2011
Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:1102

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Keywords: Economics of Conflict; Contract Theory; Civil War; Looting.;

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  1. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2009. "Beyond greed and grievance: feasibility and civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 1-27, January.
  2. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
  3. Janus, Thorsten, 2012. "Natural resource extraction and civil conflict," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 24-31.
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Cited by:
  1. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2011. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity, and Citizen Participation: Evidence from Indonesia," IDEP Working Papers 1101, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised May 2011.

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