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When to Attack an Oppressive Government?


  • Bilkic, Natasa
  • Gries, Thomas


Initiating a conflict is an investment in social, political or economic change. The decision to attack is sequential in time, irreversible and, more important, includes highly uncertain and erratic threats and opportunities yet completely disregarded in confict theory. In this dynamic model of decision making we focus on the time dimension of an escalating conflict. In order to cover the effects of high uncertainties we extend methods in real option theory by introducing a discontinuous Ito-L vy Jump Diffusion processes. We analytically derive a threshold that triggers the attack and determine the expected time of action. With this new discontinuous processs we are able to show that an increasing number and intensity of oppressive government actions may lead to an earlier outbreak of conflict. However, even if latent conflicts are not immediately solved policies can prolong the peace period to find a long term solution to the conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Bilkic, Natasa & Gries, Thomas, 2012. "When to Attack an Oppressive Government?," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62031, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc12:62031

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    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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