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From Rags to Rifles: The Economics of Deprivation, Conflict and Welfare State

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  • Rohner, D.

Abstract

Historical evidence has taught us that it is often the poorest and most deprived people in unequal societies who are recruited to fight in civil wars. The present contribution constructs a theoretical model of the choice between appropriation and production, where conflict is represented as mutual stealing. Fully specified production functions allow for both symmetrical outcomes and for introducing inequalities in abilities and endowments. It is shown that people with lower marginal returns to productive activities due to lower ability, fewer endowments or discrimination are more likely to choose appropriative activities. Further, it is examined theoretically under what conditions welfare state policies such as redistribution of income and capital, as well as education, health and poverty-alleviation spending, can lead to less appropriative activities. Finally, the model.s implications are tested empirically using logit estimations.

Suggested Citation

  • Rohner, D., 2007. "From Rags to Rifles: The Economics of Deprivation, Conflict and Welfare State," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0771, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0771
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
      [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF POWER In the Federation]
      ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; deprivation; welfare state; poverty; appropriative activities.;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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