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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. Gregory D. Hess & Athanasios Orphanides, 1999. "War and Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 201, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Herschel I. Grossman, 2003. "Distributional Disputes and Civil Conflict," NBER Working Papers 9794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Herschel Grossman, 2002. "Constitution or Conflict?," Working Papers 2002-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Herschel Grossman, 2004. "Peace and War in Territorial Disputes," Working Papers 2004-07, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "War, Peace, and the Size of Countries," Scholarly Articles 4553002, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Garfinkel, M.R., 1992. ""Domestic Politics and International Conflict"," Papers 90-92-30, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  7. Herschel I. Grossman, 2003. "Fifty-four Forty or Fight!," NBER Working Papers 9635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Dimitriy Gershenson & Herschel I. Grossman, 1999. "Civil Conflict: Ended Or Never Ending?," Working Papers 99-31, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  13. Herschel I. Grossman & Juan Mendoza, 2001. "Annexation or Conquest? The Economics of Empire Building," NBER Working Papers 8109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  15. 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.
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