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Conflict and Renewable Resources

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  • Rafael Reuveny

    (School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University)

  • John W. Maxwell

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

Abstract

The economic literature on conflict employs a static game theoretic frame- work developed by Jack Hirshleifer. We extend this literature by explicitly introducing conflict dynamics into the model. Our specific application is based on two stylized facts. First, conflict often arises over scarce renew- able resources, and second those resources often lack well-defined and/or enforceable property rights. Our stylized model features two rival groups, each dependent on a single contested renewable resource. Each period, the groups allocate their members between resource harvesting and resource appropriation (or conflict) in order to maximize their income. This leads to a complex non-linear dynamic interaction between conflict, the two populations, and the resource. The system's steady states are identified and comparative statics are computed. As developed, the model relates most closely to conflict over renewable resources in primitive societies. The system's global dynamics are investigated in simulations calibrated for the historical society of Easter Island. The model's implications for contemporary lesser developed societies are examined.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2004-26.

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Publication status: Published in Journal of Conflict Resolution
Handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2004-26

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Keywords: Conflict; Dynamics; Renewable Resources;

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References

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  1. Brander, James A & Taylor, M Scott, 1998. "The Simple Economics of Easter Island: A Ricardo-Malthus Model of Renewable Resource Use," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 119-38, March.
  2. Hausken, Kjell, 2000. "Cooperation and between-group competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 417-425, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
  5. Dan Usher, 1986. "The Dynastic Cycle and the Stationary State," Working Papers 671, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. James A. Brander & M. Scott Taylor, 1997. "International Trade and Open-Access Renewable Resources: The Small Open Economy Case," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(3), pages 526-52, August.
  7. Alexis Jacquemin, 1987. "The New Industrial Organization: Market Forces and Strategic Behavior," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262600145, December.
  8. Anderton, Charles H & Anderton, Roxane A & Carter, John R, 1999. "Economic Activity in the Shadow of Conflict," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(1), pages 166-79, January.
  9. 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.
  10. Alexandra Milik & Alexia Prskawetz, 1996. "Slow-fast dynamics in a model of population and resource growth," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 155-169.
  11. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1996. "Contest Success Functions," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-90, February.
  12. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Kjell Hausken, 2005. "Production and Conflict Models Versus Rent-Seeking Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 59-93, April.
  2. John W. Maxwell & Rafael Reuveny & Jefferson Davis, 2007. "Dynamic Winner-take-all Conflict," Working Papers 2007-12, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  3. Jacobsson, Adam, 2005. "War and Peace - Cyclical Phenomena?," Research Papers in Economics 2005:8, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  4. Rohner, Dominic, 2006. "Beach holiday in Bali or East Timor? Why conflict can lead to under- and overexploitation of natural resources," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 113-117, July.
  5. Miguel A. Espinosa & Juan D. Prada, 2010. "Conflict and Uncertainty: A Dynamic Approach," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 006716, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  6. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2006. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Working Papers 050623, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2006.
  7. Rymn J. Parsons, 2011. "Strengthening Sovereignty: Security and Sustainability in an Era of Climate Change," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(9), pages 1416-1451, August.
  8. John W. Maxwell & Rafael Reuveny, 2004. "Continuing Conflict," Working Papers 2004-27, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.

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