War, resource competition and development
AbstractA growth model is set up where war, population, and technology interact endogenously, capturing some trends observed throughout long-run human history. Agents compete for food for their survival. In environments with scarce resources -- meaning high population density, and/or low levels of technology -- agents allocate more of their time to fight for resources, which translates into a higher probability of war. Because technology is an input both in food production and conflict, technological progress exerts two opposing effects on killing: on the one hand, it mitigates resource scarcity, making war less likely; on the other hand, if war breaks out it is deadlier the more advanced is the level of technology. An economy may transit onto a path of peaceful prosperity where standards of living are rising, and the probability of war approaches zero. In the transition, however, it may pass a phase of excessive killing, as rising living standards have not yet made war an improbable event, but rising levels of technology have made war extremely lethal if and when it breaks out. A preliminary quantitative exercise indicates that the model can replicate an inversely U-shaped pattern of war and genocide deaths seen worldwide over the 20th century. Many of the underlying mechanisms also seem consistent with some important stylized facts of growth and war, in particular in 20th century Europe
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 530.
Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
More information through EDIRC
War; genocide; resource competition; growth; development;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O4 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
- N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
- Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jones Charles I., 2001.
"Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run,"
The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics,
De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-45, August.
- Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," NBER Working Papers 7375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Charles I. Jones, . "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," Working Papers 99008, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Galor, Oded, 2005.
"From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory,"
Handbook of Economic Growth,
in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293
- Oded_Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth:Unified Growth Theory," Working Papers 2004-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Oded Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," GE, Growth, Math methods 0409003, EconWPA.
- Galor, Oded, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 4581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
- Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000.
"Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth,"
2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection And The Origin Of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191, November.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Grossman, Herschel I. & Mendoza, Juan, 2003. "Scarcity and appropriative competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 747-758, November.
- Tamura, Robert, 1996. "From decay to growth: A demographic transition to economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1237-1261.
- David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
- Tamura, Robert, 2002. "Human capital and the switch from agriculture to industry," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 207-242, December.
- Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.