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An Economic Approach to Analyzing Civil War

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  • Stergios Skaperdas

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

Abstract

Civil wars and conflict can be understood from an economic point of view only if there is incomplete contracting. I examine such settings and first discuss sources of incomplete contracting, from geography and ethnic and social distance to external interventions due to geopolitics or the presence of rents. Yet, since war is destructive, the contending parties might normally be expected to settle in the shadow of war. One reason that sometimes they do not, contrary to conventional wisdom, is because the shadow of the future is too long. Subsequently, using a formal model for guidance I examine some consequences of civil wars and emphasize the role hierarchical organization and rents play in determining the severity of conflict.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 060715.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:060715

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Keywords: Warlords; Incomplete contracting; Conflict; Appropriation; Anarchy; Shadow of the future;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War: A Review of Fifty Years of Research," Working Papers id:2231, eSocialSciences.
  2. Ahmed Mahmud & Juan Vargas, 2011. "Combatant recruitment and the outcome of war," Economics of Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-74, March.
  3. Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "Civil War," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkele qt90n356hs, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. 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.
  5. Baten, Joerg & Mumme, Christina, 2013. "Does inequality lead to civil wars? A global long-term study using anthropometric indicators (1816–1999)," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 56-79.
  6. Tridimas, George, 2011. "The political economy of power-sharing," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 328-342, June.
  7. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
    [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION O
    ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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