Peace and War With Endogenous State Capacity
We explore how peace or war can occur in the presence of commitment problems. These problems can be reduced by institutions of good governance or, alternatively, state capacity which (a) can be considered a collective good and (b) can be improved through investments. We show how the likelihood of a peace agreement depends on the level of state capacity and on investments in state capacity made by adversaries. In accordance with existing evidence but contrary to various theories of conflict, we find that income levels unambiguously increase the chance of peace. Among other issues, we discuss the critical role of external actors in encouraging or discouraging commitment and in developing good governance institutions.
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