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Characterizing Conflict Forms


  • Johannes Fedderke
  • Chandana Kularatne


This paper presents a model in which two groups in society are engaged in strategic interaction. Privileged members of society have the opportunity to allocate resources either to their own productive capacity, or to enhance the productive capacity of the disadvantaged. Redistribution to the disadvantaged can increase the productive capacity of society, but comes at the cost of rising political aspirations of the poor, which erodes the power of the rich. The paper derives conditions under which (a) the rich will redistribute to the point of equality with the poor; (b) conditions under which the disadvantaged face genocide; as well as (c) the range of intermediate redistributive activity likely to be employed by the privileged. Examination of empirical evidence suggests that the model generalizes across the experience of a panel of 102 countries, over the 1960-2000 period.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Fedderke & Chandana Kularatne, 2008. "Characterizing Conflict Forms," Working Papers 106, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:106

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    Cited by:

    1. B.P. Zaaruka & J.W. Fedderke, 2011. "Indicators of Political and Economic Institutions in Tanzania: 1884 - 2008," Working Papers 231, Economic Research Southern Africa.

    More about this item


    conflict; human capital; productivity; South Africa; Sri Lanka;

    JEL classification:

    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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