IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Persistence of Civil Wars

  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Davide Ticchi
  • Andrea Vindigni

A notable feature of post-World War II civil wars is their very long average duration. We provide a theory of the persistence of civil wars. The civilian government can successfully defeat rebellious factions only by creating a relatively strong army. In weakly institutionalized polities this opens the way for excessive influence or coups by the military. Civilian governments whose rents are largely unaffected by civil wars then choose small and weak armies that are incapable of ending insurrections. Our framework also shows that when civilian governments need to take more decisive action against rebels, they may be forced to build oversized armies, beyond the size necessary for fighting the insurrection, as a commitment to not reforming the military in the future. (JEL: H2, N10, N40, P16) (c) 2010 by the European Economic Association.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
Pages: 664-676

in new window

Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:8:y:2010:i:2-3:p:664-676
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Ticchi, Davide & Vindigni, Andrea, 2008. "A Theory of Military Dictatorships," IZA Discussion Papers 3392, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron, 2005. "Politics and economics in weak and strong states," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1199-1226, October.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," NBER Working Papers 14239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2007. "Emergence and Persistence of Inefficient States," Working Papers 0705, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2007.
  6. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Måns Söderbom, 2004. "On the Duration of Civil War," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 41(3), pages 253-273, May.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521671422 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:8:y:2010:i:2-3:p:664-676. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anna Pollock-Nelson)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.