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Incentives and Survival in Violent Conflicts

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  • Moshik Lavie

    ()

  • Christophe Muller

    ()

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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File URL: http://www.microconflict.eu/publications/RWP47_ML_CM.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict in its series Research Working Papers with number 47.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcn:rwpapr:47

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  1. 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.
  2. Janus, Thorsten, 2012. "Natural resource extraction and civil conflict," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 24-31.
  3. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2006. "Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2006-10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2013. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity and Citizen Participation: Evidence from Indonesia," Working Papers halshs-00796194, HAL.

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