On the Production of Victory: Empirical Determinants of Battlefield Success in Modern War
AbstractUsing a data set of historical battles from 1600 to 1973, this paper analyzes the empirical determinants of tactical success in modern war. Based on a reduced form approach we consider key elements of military theory as factors in the production of combat success, formalized in a military production function. The paper focuses on the relationship of material and non-material factors to battlefield success, and especially on the role of superior force strengths. Contrary to the emphasis on technology which can be found in the recent literature, our estimation results indicate that numerical superiority has retained its crucial role for battlefield performance throughout history. In general, human elements of warfare, like leadership, morale and surprise, have continued to be important determinants of battle outcome despite technological progress in weapons.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 491.
Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Defence and Peace Economics, 2003, 14 (3), 175-192; see IZA Reprints 176/03
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Other versions of this item:
- Ralph Rotte & Christoph Schmidt, 2003. "On the production of victory: Empirical determinants of battlefield success in modern war," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 175-192.
- C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
- D29 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Other
- H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
- N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
- O39 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Other
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-06-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-MIC-2002-06-18 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2002-06-13 (Public Economics)
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