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Fighting against the odds

  • Halvor Mehlum

    ()

  • Karl Moene

    ()

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

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10101-005-0094-1
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Economics of Governance.

Volume (Year): 7 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 75-87

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Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:7:y:2006:i:1:p:75-87
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  1. Konrad, Kai A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2009. "Multi-battle contests," Munich Reprints in Economics 22084, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1996. "Can the shadow of the future harm cooperation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 355-372, May.
  3. Kai A. Konrad, 2002. "Investment in the Absence of Property Rights: The Role of Incumbency Advantages," CESifo Working Paper Series 698, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1998. "Competition over More Than One Prize," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 276-89, March.
  5. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
  6. 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.
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