IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Combatant recruitment and the outcome of war

  • Ahmed Saber Mahmud

    ()

  • Juan F. Vargas

    ()

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.

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: http://www.urosario.edu.co/FASE1/economia/documentos/pdf/dt47.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 500 Can't connect to www.urosario.edu.co:80. If this is indeed the case, please notify (Paola Villalobos)


Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO in its series DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO with number 005029.

as
in new window

Length: 26
Date of creation: 23 Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:col:000092:005029
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.:

as in new window
  1. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2007. "Ethnic polarization and the duration of civil wars," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4192, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 2003. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Cahiers de recherche 0301, CIRPEE.
  5. Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  6. 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.
  7. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and Grievance in Civil War," Development and Comp Systems 0409007, EconWPA.
  8. 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.
  9. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  10. Enrico Spolaore, 2007. "Civil Conflict and Secessions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0705, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  11. Juan F. Vargas, 2009. "Military Empowerment and Civilian Targeting in Civil War," HiCN Working Papers 56, Households in Conflict Network.
  12. Stergios Skaperdas, 2007. "An Economic Approach to Analyzing Civil War," Working Papers 060715, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  13. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  14. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
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: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: (Paola Villalobos)

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.