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Fighting against the odds

Author

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  • Halvor Mehlum

    ()

  • Karl Moene

    ()

Abstract

The fight for power is not only over immediate rents, but also over advantageous positions in future power struggles. When incumbency yields an extra fighting edge, current struggles involve high stakes as a victory today may guarantee the victory also tomorrow. Such an incumbency edge may stem from the control of the army, the police and other instruments reserved for the government. The conclusions drawn from static conflict models are turned on their head when the fight is also over the incumbency edge. A sharper incumbency edge increases the implicit prizes of winning. The fighting intensity may therefore rise when the strength of each side becomes more unequal. Unbalanced fights can last long and become particularly severe. This is in contrast to the standard result that equal strengths give the most intense fighting. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene, 2006. "Fighting against the odds," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 75-87, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:7:y:2006:i:1:p:75-87
    DOI: 10.1007/s10101-005-0094-1
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10101-005-0094-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Benny Geys & Jan Vermeir, 2014. "Party Cues In Elections Under Multilevel Governance: Theory And Evidence From Us States," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1029-1058, August.
    2. Michael McBride & Stergios Skaperdas, 2005. "Explaining Conflict in Low-Income Countries: Incomplete Contracting in the Shadow of the Future," CESifo Working Paper Series 1636, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Matthew Baker & Erwin Bulte, 2010. "Kings and Vikings: on the dynamics of competitive agglomeration," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 207-227, June.
    4. Johannes Münster, 2009. "Repeated Contests with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(1), pages 89-118, February.
    5. McBride, Michael & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2014. "Conflict, settlement, and the shadow of the future," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 75-89.
    6. Virág, Gábor, 2009. "Efficiency and competition in the long run: The survival of the unfit," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 315-330, September.
    7. repec:elg:eechap:15325_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Boudreau, James W. & Sanders, Shane & Shunda, Nicholas, 2017. "The Role of Noise in Alliance Formation and Collusion in Conflicts," MPRA Paper 81533, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2008. "Party cues and yardstick voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 470-477, June.
    10. Thomas P. Tangerås & Nils-Petter Lagerlöf, 2009. "Ethnic Diversity, Civil War and Redistribution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(1), pages 1-27, March.
    11. J. Atsu Amegashie, 2005. "Asymmetry And Collusion In Infinitely Repeated Contests," Working Papers 0509, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    12. Hausken, Kjell & Bier, Vicki M., 2011. "Defending against multiple different attackers," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 211(2), pages 370-384, June.
    13. Clark, Derek J. & Nilssen, Tore, 2018. "Beating the Matthew Effect: Head Starts and Catching Up in a Dynamic All-Pay Auction," Memorandum 2/2018, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    14. Boudreau, James W. & Shunda, Nicholas, 2015. "Tacit Collusion in Repeated Contests with Noise," MPRA Paper 65671, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Münster, Johannes, 2008. "Repeated contests with asymmetric information
      [Wiederholte Wettkämpfe mit asymmetrischer Information]
      ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2008-08, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    16. Hagen, Rune Jansen, 2014. "Rents and the Political Economy of Development Aid," Working Papers in Economics 07/14, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    17. Clark, Derek J. & Nilssen , Tore & Sand, Jan Yngve, 2014. "Keep on Fighting: Dynamic Win Effects in an All-Pay Auction," Memorandum 23/2014, Oslo University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contests; political stability; war; incumbency;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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