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Civil War and the Social Contract

  • Azam, Jean-Paul
  • Mesnard, Alice

In this contract-theoretic model the government promises a transfer to its potential opponent in return for not engaging in a civil war. Two causes of civil war are identified: (i) imperfect credibility increases the cost of the required transfer, and may make it unfeasible; (ii) asymmetric information faces the government with the classic efficiency/rent-extraction trade off, and civil war is used as a screening device. This problem can be solved by creating a mixed army. The model determines whether a military regime or a redistributive state prevails in a peaceful equilibrium. A statistical illustration is presented, using African data. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 124.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Publication status: Published in Public Choice, vol.�115, n°3, juin 2003, p.�455-475.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:670
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  1. repec:cai:recosp:reco_p1996_47n3_0819 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
  3. Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
  4. Brunnetti, Aymo & Kisunko, Gregory & Weder, Beatrice, 1997. "Credibility of rules and economic growth : evidence from a worldwide survey of the private sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1760, The World Bank.
  5. Noh, Suk Jae, 1999. " A General Equilibrium Model of Two Group Conflict with Endogenous Intra-group Sharing Rules," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 251-67, March.
  6. Jean-Paul Azam, 2001. "The redistributive state and conflicts in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2001-03, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
  8. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  9. Neary, Hugh M, 1997. " A Comparison of Rent-Seeking Models and Economic Models of Conflict," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3-4), pages 373-88, December.
  10. Hugh Neary, 1997. "A comparison of rent-seeking models and economic models of conflict," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 373-388, December.
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