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Clash of Brothers in a Contagious World: Wars to Avoid Diffusion

  • Akos Lada


    (Political Economy and Government Program - Harvard University)

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    Does sharing the same religion, civilization or racial proximity lead to more peaceful relations between countries? This paper argues that cultural similarity can actually cause wars, which occur to combat di_usion. This new theory of war combines the models of Acemoglu and Robinson (2006) and Fearon (1995), and shows that cultural similarity can lead to more warfare when old elites are afraid of losing their position to a newly inspired citizenry, as these elites try to destroy the external source of inspiration. The microfoundation for inspiration is derived from revealed information about the income level under given institutions, which are assumed to have positive correlation with cultural proximity. On the empirical side, I present case studies on the 1848 Revolutions, the 2013 Korean Crisis (using content analysis of official North Korean articles) and on the First World War, as well as statistical analysis on all the wars of the last two centuries.

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    Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 1333.

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    Length: 86 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1333
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    1. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422.
    2. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 2236, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2006. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Working Papers 050623, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2006.
    4. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
    5. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:1:p:45-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
    7. Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
    8. Michelle R Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2001. "Conflict Without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: How the Future Matters," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000011, David K. Levine.
    9. Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "The Political Economy of Hatred," NBER Working Papers 9171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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