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Persistence of Civil Wars

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Author Info

  • Acemoglu, Daron

    ()
    (MIT)

  • Ticchi, Davide

    ()
    (IMT Lucca)

  • Vindigni, Andrea

    ()
    (IMT Lucca)

Abstract

A notable feature of post-World War II civil wars is their very long average duration. We provide a theory of the persistence of civil wars. The civilian government can successfully defeat rebellious factions only by creating a relatively strong army. In weakly-institutionalized polities this opens the way for excessive influence or coups by the military. Civilian governments whose rents are largely unaffected by civil wars then choose small and weak armies that are incapable of ending insurrections. Our framework also shows that when civilian governments need to take more decisive action against rebels, they may be forced to build over-sized armies, beyond the size necessary for fighting the insurrection, as a commitment to not reforming the military in the future.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4418.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2010, 8 (2-3), 664-676
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4418

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Related research

Keywords: political transitions; military; coups; commitment; civil wars; political economy;

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References

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  1. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," NBER Working Papers 14239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2010. "A Theory of Military Dictatorships," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-42, January.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2007. "Emergence and Persistence of Inefficient States," Working Papers 0705, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2007.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Acemoglu, Daron, 2005. "Politics and economics in weak and strong states," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1199-1226, October.
  7. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke & Soderbom, Mans, 2001. "On the duration of civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2681, The World Bank.
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