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Democracy, Autocracy and the Likelihood of International Conflict

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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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 751.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 13 Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0751
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. Gregory D. Hess & Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "War and Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 776-810, August.
  2. 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, 03.
  3. Helmut Bester & Karl Wärneryd, 2006. "Conflict and the Social Contract," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(2), pages 231-249, 07.
  4. Garfinkel, Michelle R, 1994. "Domestic Politics and International Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1294-1309, December.
  5. Matthew O. Jackson & Massimo Morelli, 2007. "Political Bias and War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1353-1373, September.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521794497 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521583299 is not listed on IDEAS
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