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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.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century with number 62031.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc12:62031
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  1. Claude Berrebi & Jordan Ostwald, 2011. "Earthquakes, hurricanes, and terrorism: do natural disasters incite terror?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 383-403, December.
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  9. Geman, Helyette, 2002. "Pure jump Levy processes for asset price modelling," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 1297-1316, July.
  10. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Weerapana, Akila, 2004. "Economic conditions and terrorism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 463-478, June.
  11. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
  12. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  13. Yared, Pierre, 2010. "A dynamic theory of war and peace," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1921-1950, September.
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