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

Author

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  • Akos Lada

    () (Political Economy and Government Program - Harvard University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Akos Lada, 2013. "Clash of Brothers in a Contagious World: Wars to Avoid Diffusion," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1333, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1333
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2016. "War and Relatedness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(5), pages 925-939, December.
    2. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
    3. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Political Economy of Hatred," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 45-86.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:04:p:1151-1169_18 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950.
    8. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422.
    9. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
    10. Garfinkel, M.R. & Skaperdas, S., 2000. "Conflict without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: how the Future Matters," Papers 99-00-11, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    11. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international conflict; culture; democratization;

    JEL classification:

    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative

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