IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why Democracies Cooperate More and Fight Less: The Relationship between International Trade and Cooperation


  • Polachek, Solomon W


This paper provides an economics-based interpretation of the standard finding in the literature that democracies rarely fight each other. A general theory of conflict between two countries is presented and empirical analysis applies this theory to the question of why democracies rarely fight each other. The results show that the fundamental factor in causing bilateral cooperation is trade. Countries seek to protect wealth gained through international trade, therefore trading partners are less combative than nontrading nations. Democratic dyads trade more than nondemocratic dyads, and thus exhibit less conflict and more cooperation. Copyright 1997 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Polachek, Solomon W, 1997. "Why Democracies Cooperate More and Fight Less: The Relationship between International Trade and Cooperation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 295-309, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:5:y:1997:i:3:p:295-309

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hoekman, B.M. & Leidy, M.P., 1989. "Dumping, Antidumping, And Emergency Protection," Working Papers 246, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    2. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
    3. Wendy L. Hansen & Thomas J. Prusa, 1995. "The Road Most Taken: the Rise of Title VII Protection," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 295-313, March.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:01:p:21-46_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Silberman, Jonathan I & Durden, Garey C, 1976. "Determining Legislative Preferences on the Minimum Wage: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 317-329, April.
    6. Weingast, Barry R & Moran, Mark J, 1983. "Bureaucratic Discretion or Congressional Control? Regulatory Policymaking by the Federal Trade Commission," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 765-800, October.
    7. Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1982. "Campaign Contributions and Congressional Voting: A Simultaneous Probit-Tobit Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 77-83, February.
    8. Finger, J M & Hall, H Keith & Nelson, Douglas R, 1982. "The Political Economy of Administered Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 452-466, June.
    9. Barry Weingast, 1984. "The congressional-bureaucratic system: a principal agent perspective (with applications to the SEC)," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 147-191, January.
    10. repec:fth:michin:246 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Robert Baldwin & Jeffrey Steagall, 1994. "An analysis of ITC decisions in antidumping, countervailing duty and safeguard cases," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 130(2), pages 290-308, June.
    12. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Raul Caruso & Marco Di Domizio & David A. Savage, 2015. "Hic Sunt Leones! The role of national identity on aggressiveness between national football teams," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Politica Economica ispe0076, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    2. Shiro Armstrong, 2009. "Japanese FDI in China: determinants and performance," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 378, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    3. Vincenzo Bove & Leandro Elia & Petros G. Sekeris, 2014. "US Security Strategy and the Gains from Bilateral Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 863-885, November.
    4. Murshed, Mansoob & Mamoon, Dawood, 2008. "The consequences of Not Loving thy neigbor as Thyself: Trade, democracy and military explainations behind India Pakistan rivalry," MPRA Paper 10429, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Mamoon, Dawood & S. Murshed, Mansoob, 2008. "India and Pakistan: Trading for Peace," MPRA Paper 10432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Mamoon, Dawood & Murshed, S. Mansoob, 2007. "Politics Remains but Economics Leads and Peace Follows: Making a Case for India-Pakistan Peace Process in line with China Model," MPRA Paper 3075, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Dinar, Ariel & Blankespoor, Brian & Dinar, Shlomi & Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep, 2010. "Does precipitation and runoff variability affect treaty cooperation between states sharing international bilateral rivers?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2568-2581, October.
    8. repec:ksp:journ3:v:4:y:2017:i:3:p:322-328 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Mamoon, Dawood, 2017. "Beyond being Good Neighbors: Proximity to International Markets Matter More for India Pakistan Peace," MPRA Paper 83098, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Erik Gartzke & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "To conquer or compel: war, peace, and economic development," IEW - Working Papers 511, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    11. Claude Diebolt & Tapas Mishra & Bazoumana Ouattara & Mamata Parhi, 2013. "Democracy and Economic Growth in an Interdependent World," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 733-749, September.
    12. Chang, Yuan-Ching & Polachek, Solomon W. & Robst, John, 2004. "Conflict and trade: the relationship between geographic distance and international interactions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 491-509, September.
    13. Dawood MAMOON, 2017. "Missing the Peace Train in 2006: Economic and political dynamics of India Pakistan hostility?," Journal of Economic and Social Thought, KSP Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 322-328, Seprember.
    14. Massoud Tansa G. & Magee Christopher S., 2012. "Trade and Political, Military, and Economic Relations," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-39, May.
    15. Economou Emmanouil M.L. & Kyriazis Nicholas C., 2016. "Choosing Peace Instead of War. A Lesson from Athenian Democracy," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 22(2), pages 191-212, April.
    16. Sebastian Rosato, 2011. "On the Democratic Peace," Chapters,in: The Handbook on the Political Economy of War, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Mamoon, Dawood & S. Mansoob, Murshed, 2008. "On the Conflict Mitigating Effects of Trade: The India-Pakistan Case," MPRA Paper 10431, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Mamoon, Dawood, 2017. "When Armies Don’t Fight: Are Militaries in India and Pakistan Strategically Aligned to Promote Peace in South Asia?," MPRA Paper 82695, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Murshed, S.M. & Mamoon, D., 2007. "On the Costs of Not Loving Thy Neighbour as Thyself," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18748, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    20. Polachek, Solomon, 2004. "How Outsourcing Affects Bilateral Political Relations," IZA Discussion Papers 1334, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Moons, S.J.V. & van Bergeijk, P.A.G., 2013. "A meta-analysis of economic diplomacy and its effect on international economic flows," ISS Working Papers - General Series 50074, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    22. repec:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:4:p:511-545 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:5:y:1997:i:3:p:295-309. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.