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Theorizing About Conflict

  • Jack Hirshleifer


The category of conflict encompasses not only war but also crime, litigation, strikes and lockouts, and redistributive politics. Exchange theory and conflict theory constitute two coequal branches of economic analysis, the first based upon contract and mutual gain, the second upon contest for asymmetric advantage. A number of the analytic options for modelling conflict are reviewed. Preferences, opportunities, and perceptions are shown to determine the choice between conflict and settlement. The technology of conflict as an economic activity is surveyed. Two illustrative models are presented, the first involving actual fighting and the other armed peace.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series UCLA Economics Working Papers with number 727.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 1995
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Handle: RePEc:cla:uclawp:727
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  1. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1996. "Contest Success Functions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-90, February.
  2. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
  3. Jack Hirshleifer, 1991. "The Paradox Of Power," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 177-200, November.
  4. Baik, Kyung H & Shogren, Jason F, 1992. "Strategic Behavior in Contests: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 359-62, March.
  5. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
  6. Skogh, Goran & Stuart, Charles, 1982. " A Contractarian Theory of Property Rights and Crime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(1), pages 27-40.
  7. Jack Hirshleifer, 1978. "Natural Economy Versus Political Economy," UCLA Economics Working Papers 114, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
  9. Telser, L G, 1980. "A Theory of Self-enforcing Agreements," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 27-44, January.
  10. Todd Sandler, 1993. "The Economic Theory of Alliances," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 37(3), pages 446-483, September.
  11. Intriligator, Michael D, 1975. "Strategic Considerations in the Richardson Model of Arms Races," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 339-53, April.
  12. Murray Wolfson, 1985. "Notes on Economic Warfare," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 8(2), pages 1-19, February.
  13. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
  14. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
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