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Evolutionary determinants of war

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  • Konrad, Kai A.
  • Morath, Florian

Abstract

This paper considers evolutionarily stable decisions about whether to initiate violent conflict rather than accepting a peaceful sharing outcome. Focusing on small sets of players such as countries in a geographically confined area, we use Schaffer’s (1988) concept of evolutionary stability. We find that players ‘evolutionarily stable preferences widen the range of peaceful resource allocations that are rejected in favor of violent conflict, compared to the Nash equilibrium outcomes. Relative advantages in fighting strength are reflected in the equilibrium set of peaceful resource allocations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 418.

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Date of creation: 22 Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:418

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Keywords: Conflict; Contest; Endogenous fighting; Balance of power; Evolutionary stability;

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  1. Kai Konrad & Wolfgang Leininger, 2011. "Self-enforcing norms and efficient non-cooperative collective action in the provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 501-520, March.
  2. Andreas Wagener, 2009. "Tax Competition, Relative Performance and Policy Imitation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2723, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Boudreau, James W. & Shunda, Nicholas, 2012. "On the evolution of prize perceptions in contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 498-501.
  4. Jackson, Matthew O. & Morelli, Massimo, . "Political bias and war," Working Papers, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences 1247, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. B. Curtis Eaton & Mukesh Eswaran & Robert J. Oxoby, 2011. "Us and `Them': the origin of identity, and its economic implications," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(3), pages 719-748, August.
  6. Michael McBride & Stergios Skaperdas, 2009. "Conflict, Settlement, and the Shadow of the Future," CESifo Working Paper Series 2897, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Wolfgang Leininger, 2009. "Evolutionarily stable preferences in contests," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 341-356, September.
  8. Curtis Eaton & Mukesh Eswaran, 2003. "The evolution of preferences and competition: a rationalization of Veblen's theory of invidious comparisons," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(4), pages 832-859, November.
  9. Garfinkel, M.R. & Skaperdas, S., 2000. "Conflict without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: how the Future Matters," Papers, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences 99-00-11, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  10. Wolfgang Leininger, 2003. "On evolutionarily stable behavior in contests," Economics of Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 177-186, November.
  11. Hehenkamp, B. & Leininger, W. & Possajennikov, A., 2004. "Evolutionary equilibrium in Tullock contests: spite and overdissipation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 1045-1057, November.
  12. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
  13. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  14. Slantchev, Branislav L. & Tarar, Ahmer S., 2010. "Mutual Optimism as a Rationalist Explanation for War," MPRA Paper 40558, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jan 2011.
  15. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, October.
  16. Hess, Gregory D & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1995. "War Politics: An Economic, Rational-Voter Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 828-46, September.
  17. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  18. Slantchev, Branislav L., 2010. "Feigning Weakness," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(03), pages 357-388, July.
  19. Jordan, J.S., 2006. "Pillage and property," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 26-44, November.
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