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Democracy, Autocracy and the Likelihood of International Conflict

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Abstract

This is a game-theoretic analysis of the link between regime type and international conflict. The democratic electorate can credibly punish the leader for bad conflict outcomes, whereas the autocratic selectorate cannot. For the fear of being thrown out of office, democratic leaders are (i) more selective about the wars they initiate and (ii) on average win more of the wars they start. Foreign policy behaviour is found to display strategic complementarities. The likelihood of interstate war, therefore, is lowest in the democratic dyad (pair), highest in the autocratic dyad with the mixed dyad in between. The results are consistent with empirical findings.

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  • Tangerås, Thomas, 2008. "Democracy, Autocracy and the Likelihood of International Conflict," Working Paper Series 751, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0751
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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:01:p:61-73_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Garfinkel, Michelle R, 1994. "Domestic Politics and International Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1294-1309, December.
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    5. Gilat Levy & Ronny Razin, 2004. "It Takes Two: An Explanation for the Democratic Peace," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-29, March.
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    8. Helmut Bester & Karl Wärneryd, 2006. "Conflict and the Social Contract," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(2), pages 231-249, July.
    9. Wintrobe,Ronald, 1998. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521583299.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2010. "Political Institutions and War Initiation: The Democratic Peace Hypothesis Revisited," Working Papers 101107, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democracy; Autocracy; War; Maximal Equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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