Combatant recruitment and the outcome of war
Why do some civil wars terminate soon, with victory of one party over theother? What determines if the winner is the incumbent or the rebel group?Why do other conflicts last longer? We propose a simple model in whichthe power of each armed group depends on the number of combatants itis able to recruit. This is in turn a function of the relative 'distance' between group leaderships and potential recruits. We emphasize the moralhazard problem of recruitment: fighting is costly and risky so combatantshave the incentive to defect from their task. They can also desert alto-gether and join the enemy. This incentive is stronger the farther away thefighter is from the principal, since monitoring becomes increasingly costly.Bigger armies have more power but less monitoring capacity to preventdefection and desertion. This general framework allows a variety of interpretations of what type of proximity matters for building strong cohesivearmies ranging from ethnic distance to geographic dispersion. Di¤erentassumptions about the distribution of potential fighters along the relevantdimension of conflict lead to di¤erent equilibria. We characterize these,discuss the implied outcome in terms of who wins the war, and illustratewith historical and contemporaneous case studies.
|Date of creation:||23 Sep 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| |
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.:
- W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986.
"Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment,"
585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
- Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993.
"On the Measurement of Polarization,"
UFAE and IAE Working Papers
221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Duclos, Jean-Yves & Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 2003.
"Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation,"
Cahiers de recherche
- Juan F. Vargas, 2009.
"Military Empowerment and Civilian Targeting in Civil War,"
HiCN Working Papers
56, Households in Conflict Network.
- Juan F Vargas, 2009. "Military empowerment and civilian targeting in civil war," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 005282, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
- Bernd Beber & Christopher Blattman, 2010. "The Industrial Organization of Rebellion: The Logic of Forced Labor and Child Soldiering," HiCN Working Papers 72, Households in Conflict Network.
- Enrico Spolaore, 2008.
"Civil conflict and secessions,"
Economics of Governance,
Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 45-63, January.
- Enrico Spolaore, 2007. "Civil Conflict and Secessions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0705, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- James D. Fearon, 2004. "Why Do Some Civil Wars Last So Much Longer than Others?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 41(3), pages 275-301, May.
- Jeremy M. Weinstein, 2005. "Resources and the Information Problem in Rebel Recruitment," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(4), pages 598-624, August.
- Stergios Skaperdas, 2007.
"An Economic Approach to Analyzing Civil War,"
060715, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
- Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
- Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2007. "Ethnic polarization and the duration of civil wars," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4192, The World Bank.
- Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
- Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004.
"Greed and grievance in civil war,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
- Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
- Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2006.
"Resource Curse in Reverse: The Coffee Crisis and Armed Conflict in Colombia,"
Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics
06/05, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Dec 2006.
- Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2006. "Are All Resources Cursed? Coffee, Oil and Armed Confict in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS DE CERAC 002024, CERAC -CENTRO DE RECURSOS PARA EL ANÁLISIS DE CONFLICTOS-.
- Oeindrila Dube & Juan Fernando Vargas, 2006. "Resource curse in reverse: The coffee crisis and armed conflict in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003460, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
- Jose Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2010. "Ethnic polarization and the duration of civil wars," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 123-143, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:col:000092:005029. 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: (Facultad de Economía)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.