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Choosing Between Peace and War

  • Herschel I. Grossman

    (Department of Economics, Box B, Brown University
    National Bureau of Economic Research)

Although most disputes between groups of people are settled peacefully, sometimes disputes result in war. This lecture uses historical examples to illustrate how the ability to negotiate a credible peaceful settlement of a dispute between sovereign states, typically a dispute over the control of territory or natural resources, depends on the divisibility of the outcome of the dispute, on the effectiveness of the fortifications and counterattacks with which an attacker would expect to have to contend, and on the permanence of the outcome of a potential war. The lecture also contrasts the possibilities for avoiding wars between sovereign states with the possibilities for avoiding civil wars.

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Article provided by Society for AEF in its journal Annals of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 765-783

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Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2013:v:14:i:3:grossman
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  1. Herschel Grossman, 2002. "Constitution or Conflict?," Working Papers 2002-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  3. Garfinkel, Michelle R, 1994. "Domestic Politics and International Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1294-1309, December.
  4. Enrico Spolaore & Alberto Alesina, 2001. "War, Peace and the Size of Countries," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1937, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Gregory D. Hess & Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "War and Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 776-810, August.
  6. Herschel I. Grossman, 2003. "Fifty-four Forty or Fight!," NBER Working Papers 9635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  9. Herschel Grossman, 2004. "Peace and War in Territorial Disputes," Working Papers 2004-07, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  10. Dimitriy Gershenson & Herschel I. Grossman, 1999. "Civil Conflict: Ended Or Never Ending?," Working Papers 99-31, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Herschel Grossman, 2003. "Distributional Disputes and Civil Conflict," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 40(121), pages 608-616.
  12. Garfinkel, Michelle R, 1990. "Arming as a Strategic Investment in a Cooperative Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 50-68, March.
  13. Michelle R Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2001. "Conflict Without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: How the Future Matters," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000011, David K. Levine.
  14. Herschel I. Grossman & Juan Mendoza, 2001. "Annexation or Conquest? The Economics of Empire Building," NBER Working Papers 8109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Hess, Gregory D & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1995. "War Politics: An Economic, Rational-Voter Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 828-46, September.
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