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Simultaneous inter- and intra-group conflicts


  • Münster, Johannes


Lecture on the first SFB/TR 15 meeting, Gummersbach, July, 18 - 20, 2004This paper models the trade-off between production and appropriation in the presence of simultaneous inter- and intra-group conflicts. The model exhibits a ‘group cohesion effect ’: if the contest between the groups becomes more decisive, or contractual incompleteness between groups becomes more serious, the players devote fewer resources to the intra-group conflict. Moreover, there is also a ‘reversed group cohesion effect’: if the intra-group contests become less decisive, or contractual incompleteness within groups becomes less serious, the players devote more resources to the inter-group contest. The model also sheds new light on normative questions. I derive exact conditions for when dividing individuals in more groups leads to more productive and less appropriative activities. Further, I show that there is an optimal size of the organization which is determined by a trade-off between increasing returns to scale in production and increasing costs of appropriative activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Münster, Johannes, 2004. "Simultaneous inter- and intra-group conflicts," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 4, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hugh Neary, 1997. "A comparison of rent-seeking models and economic models of conflict," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 373-388, December.
    2. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1992. "Cooperation, Conflict, and Power in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 720-739, September.
    3. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1991. "The Technology of Conflict as an Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 130-134, May.
    4. Warneryd, Karl, 1998. "Distributional conflict and jurisdictional organization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 435-450, September.
    5. Konrad, Kai A., 2004. "Bidding in hierarchies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1301-1308, December.
    6. Neary, Hugh M, 1997. "A Comparison of Rent-Seeking Models and Economic Models of Conflict," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3-4), pages 373-388, December.
    7. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    8. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Collective Rent Dissipation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1522-1534, November.
    9. Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2004. "On the Stability of Group Formation: Managing the Conflict Within," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 21(1), pages 43-68, February.
    10. Hirshleifer,Jack, 2001. "The Dark Side of the Force," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521804127, March.
    11. Muller, Holger M & Warneryd, Karl, 2001. "Inside versus Outside Ownership: A Political Theory of the Firm," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 527-541, Autumn.
    12. Stergios Skaperdas, 2003. "Restraining the Genuine Homo Economicus: Why the Economy Cannot Be Divorced from Its Governance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 135-162, July.
    13. Gary Bornstein, 2002. "Intergroup conflict: Individual, group and collective interests," Discussion Paper Series dp297, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    14. Katz, Eliakim & Tokatlidu, Julia, 1996. "Group competition for rents," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 599-607, December.
    15. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
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    More about this item


    Conflict; rent-seeking; federalism; hierarchy;

    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
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing

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