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Warlord Competition

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  • Skaperdas, Stergios

Abstract

Warlords compete for turf that provides them with rents and `taxable' resources, but they can also offer a semblance of security within their respective territories. This article first examines two economic models of warlord competition. Because such competition takes place through the use of force or the threat of the use of force, more competition typically leads to lower material welfare as resources are wasted on unproductive arming and fighting. This is in contrast to ordinary economic models, in which typically greater competition leads to higher material welfare. Furthermore, rents from oil, diamonds, and even foreign aid crowd out production. In extreme cases, this crowding out of ordinary production can be complete, whereby all economic resources can be devoted to the unproductive competition for rents. The article then reviews factors that lead either to actual war or to peace in the shadow of war. Because war is destructive, human beings are typically risk averse, and there exist numerous complementarities in production and consumption, we can expect peace in the shadow of war to be most often preferable by all parties. Actual war can take place because of incomplete information about the preferences and capabilities of the adversaries but also, somewhat surprisingly, when the shadow of the future is sufficiently long.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Skaperdas, Stergios, 2001. "Warlord Competition," WIDER Working Paper Series 054, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:dp2001-54
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    File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/dp2001-54.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 1-20, January.
    2. Attiat F. Ott & Sang Hoo Bae, 2011. "Modeling Mass Killing: For Gain or Ethnic Cleansing?," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Conflict, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. van Besouw, Bram & Ansink, Erik & van Bavel, Bas, 2016. "The economics of violence in natural states," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 139-156.
    4. Seabright, Paul, 2008. "Warfare and the Multiple Adoption of Agriculture After the Last Ice Age," IDEI Working Papers 522, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    5. Syed Mansoob Murshed, 2007. "The conflict-growth nexus and the poverty of nations," Working Papers 43, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    6. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Ove Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2002. "Plunder & Protection Inc," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 39(4), pages 447-459, July.
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0016 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ola Olsson & Heather Congdon Fors, 2004. "Congo: The Prize of Predation," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 41(3), pages 321-336, May.
    9. Konrad, Kai A. & Leininger, Wolfgang, 2007. "Self-enforcing Norms and the Efficient Non-cooperative Organization of Clans," Ruhr Economic Papers 16, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Kai A. Konrad & Wolfgang Leininger, 2007. "Self-enforcing Norms and the Efficient Non-cooperative Organization of Clans," Ruhr Economic Papers 0016, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    11. Konrad, Kai A., 2007. "Strategy in contests: an introduction
      [Strategie in Turnieren – eine Einführung]
      ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-01, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    12. Gvozdeva, Margarita & Kazakova, M.V. & Kiblitskaya, T.R. & Lyubimov, I.L. & Nesterova, K.V., 2016. "Various Aspects of Natural Resource Wealth Effect on Economic Growth," Working Papers 2045, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    13. Aderoju Oyefusi, 2007. "Oil-dependence and Civil conflict in Nigeria," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2007-09, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    warlord competition; conflict; cooperative and non-cooperative behaviour;

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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