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Land inequality and conflict intensity

  • Giacomo Luca


  • Petros Sekeris


This paper investigates the impact of land inequality on conflict intensity. A fundamental distinction with the existing literature lies in the nature of inequality under consideration. We investigate how land inequality across landlords only influences the intensity of the fight against a rebel group constituted by landless individuals. We show that conflict intensity is non-monotonic in land inequality. In particular, the most severe conflicts occur for intermediate land inequality levels. Moreover, a Pareto improving transfer of land from the smaller to the larger landlord may exist.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 150 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 119-135

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:150:y:2012:i:1:p:119-135
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  1. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  2. Jorge Restrepo & Michael Spagat & Juan Vargas, 2004. "The Dynamics of the Columbian Civil Conflict: A New Dataset," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 21, pages 396-429.
  3. Giacomo Luca & Petros Sekeris, 2012. "Land inequality and conflict intensity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 119-135, January.
  4. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
  5. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
  6. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  7. Binswanger, Hans P. & Deininger, Klaus, 1997. "Explaining agricultural and agrarian policies in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1765, The World Bank.
  8. Alston, Lee J. & Libecap, Gary D. & Mueller, Bernardo, 1999. "A model of rural conflict: violence and land reform policy in Brazil," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 135-160, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  11. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
  12. Feder, Gershon, 1985. "The relation between farm size and farm productivity : The role of family labor, supervision and credit constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 297-313, August.
  13. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
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