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The Economics


  • Max Blouin


This paper presents a model of conflict which allows belligerents to recruit both adults and children as soldiers. Warlords fight over the country's productive (i.e. non-military) output, and are aware of the tradeoff involved in recruitment: anyone who becomes a soldier cannot produce output. In equilibrium, child recruitment is determined by children's productivity relative to adults in both war and civilian production. The model's findings have implications for arms traffic control and bans on child labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Max Blouin, 2009. "The Economics," Cahiers de recherche 0920, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0920

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
    2. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1991. "The Technology of Conflict as an Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 130-134, May.
    3. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2001. "Guns, Butter, and Openness: On the Relationship between Security and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 353-357, May.
    5. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    6. Garfinkel, Michelle R, 1990. "Arming as a Strategic Investment in a Cooperative Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 50-68, March.
    7. Neary, Hugh M, 1997. "Equilibrium Structure in an Economic Model of Conflict," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 480-494, July.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:01:p:115-132_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
    10. Sylvain E. Dessy & St├ęphane Pallage, 2005. "A Theory of the Worst Forms of Child Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 68-87, January.
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    More about this item


    Child soldiers; civil war; small arms trade; child labor; comparative advantage;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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