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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. 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.
  2. Herschel I. Grossman, 2004. "Peace and War in Territorial Disputes," NBER Working Papers 10601, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 2005. "War, peace, and the size of countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1333-1354, July.
  6. Gregory D. Hess & Athanasios Orphanides, 1999. "War and Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 201, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Herschel I. Grossman, 2002. "Constitution or Conflict?," NBER Working Papers 8733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Garfinkel, M.R., 1992. ""Domestic Politics and International Conflict"," Papers 90-92-30, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  9. Herschel Grossman, 2003. "Fifty-four Forty or Fight," Working Papers 2003-10, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  10. Herschel I. Grossman, 2002. "Annexation or Conquest? The Economics of Empire Building," Working Papers 2002-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Dimitriy Gershenson & Herschel I. Grossman, 1999. "Civil Conflict: Ended Or Never Ending?," Working Papers 99-31, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  13. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  14. 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.
  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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