IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zur/iewwpx/486.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Strategic mass killings

Author

Listed:
  • Joan Esteban
  • Massimo Morelli
  • Dominic Rohner

Abstract

Since World War II there have been about fifty episodes of large-scale mass killings of civilians and massive forced displacements. They were usually meticulously planned and independent of military goals. We provide a model where conflict onset, conflict intensity and the decision to commit mass killings are all endogenous, with two main goals: (1) to identify the key variables and situations that make mass killings more likely to occur; and (2) to distinguish conditions under which mass killings and military conflict intensity reinforce each other from situations where they are substitute modes of strategic violence. We predict that mass killings are most likely in societies with large natural resources, significant proportionality constraints for rent sharing, low productivity and low state capacity. Further, massacres are more likely in a civil than in an interstate war, as in the latter group sizes matter less for future rents. In non polarized societies there are asymmetric equilibria with only the larger group wanting to engage in massacres. In such settings the smaller group compensates for this by fighting harder in the first place. In this case we can talk of mass killings and fighting efforts to be substitutes. In contrast, in polarized societies either both or none of the groups can be ready to do mass killings in case of victory. Under the 'shadow of mass killings' groups fight harder. Hence, in this case massacres and fighting are complements. We also present novel empirical results on the role of natural resources in mass killings and on what kinds of ethnic groups are most likely to be victimized in massacres and forced resettlements, using group level panel data.

Suggested Citation

  • Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic mass killings," IEW - Working Papers 486, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:486
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_iew/iewwp486.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rudolph J. Rummel, 1994. "Power, Genocide and Mass Murder," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 31(1), pages 1-10, February.
    2. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2015. "The Geography of Interstate Resource Wars," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 267-315.
    3. Wayne Nafziger, E. & Auvinen, Juha, 2002. "Economic Development, Inequality, War, and State Violence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 153-163, February.
    4. Paul Collier & Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Democracy, Development, and Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 531-540, 04-05.
    5. Jean-Paul Azam & Anke Hoeffler, 2002. "Violence Against Civilians in Civil Wars: Looting or Terror?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 39(4), pages 461-485, July.
    6. R. J. Rummel, 1995. "Democracy, Power, Genocide, and Mass Murder," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 39(1), pages 3-26, March.
    7. Will H. Moore & Stephen M. Shellman, 2004. "Fear of Persecution," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 48(5), pages 723-745, October.
    8. Päivi Lujala & Jan Ketil Rod & Nadja Thieme, 2007. "Fighting over Oil: Introducing a New Dataset," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 24(3), pages 239-256, July.
    9. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Kimberly Ann Elliott, 2009. "Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, 3rd Edition softcover with CD," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4310, January.
    10. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
    11. Andre, Catherine & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Land relations under unbearable stress: Rwanda caught in the Malthusian trap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-47, January.
    12. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-573, October.
    13. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, January.
    14. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:57-73_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Kristine Eck & Lisa Hultman, 2007. "One-Sided Violence Against Civilians in War," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 44(2), pages 233-246, March.
    16. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2009. "Beyond greed and grievance: feasibility and civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 1-27, January.
    17. JoseG. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2008. "Discrete Polarisation with an Application to the Determinants of Genocides," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(533), pages 1835-1865, November.
    18. William Easterly & Roberta Gatti & Sergio Kurlat, 2006. "Development, democracy, and mass killings," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 129-156, June.
    19. Scully, Gerald W, 1997. "Democide and Genocide as Rent-Seeking Activities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(1-2), pages 77-97, October.
    20. repec:cup:apsrev:v:100:y:2006:i:03:p:429-447_06 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Kimberly Ann Elliott, 2009. "Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, 3rd Edition (paper)," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4129.
    22. Nils B. Weidmann & Jan Ketil Roslashd & Lars-Erik Cederman, 2010. "Representing ethnic groups in space: A new dataset," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(4), pages 491-499, July.
    23. Christopher Cramer, 2003. "Does inequality cause conflict?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 397-412.
    24. Christina Davenport & Will Moore & Steven Poe, 2003. "Sometimes You Just Have to Leave: Domestic Threats and Forced Migration, 1964-1989," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 27-55, January.
    25. Walter, Barbara F., 2006. "Information, Uncertainty, and the Decision to Secede," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 105-135, January.
    26. Sang Hoo Bae & Attiat Ott, 2008. "Predatory Behavior Of Governments: The Case Of Mass Killing," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 107-125.
    27. Marie L. Besançon, 2005. "Relative Resources: Inequality in Ethnic Wars, Revolutions, and Genocides," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 42(4), pages 393-415, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:6:p:1564-1610 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2015. "The Geography of Interstate Resource Wars," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 267-315.
    3. Laia Balcells, 2012. "Violence and Displacement in Civil War. Evidence from the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)," Working Papers 603, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Mueller, Hannes & Rohner, Dominic & Sch�nholzer, David, 2017. "The Peace Dividend of Distance: Violence as Interaction Across Space," CEPR Discussion Papers 11897, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Natural Resource Distribution and Multiple Forms of Civil War," OxCarre Working Papers 050, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    6. Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2013. "Seeds of distrust: conflict in Uganda," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 217-252, September.
    7. Laia Balcells, 2012. "Violence and displacement. Evidence from the Spanish civil war (1936-1939)," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 896.12, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    8. Erik O. Kimbrough & Kevin Laughren & Roman Sheremeta, 2017. "War and Conflict in Economics: Theories, Applications, and Recent Trends," Discussion Papers dp17-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    9. Petros G. Sekeris, 2014. "The tragedy of the commons in a violent world," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(3), pages 521-532, September.
    10. Giacomo De Luca & Petros G. Sekeris & Juan F. Vargas, 2011. "Beyond divide and rule: weak dictators, natural resources and civil conflict," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 008893, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    11. Nicolas Berman & Mathieu Couttenier & Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig, 2017. "This Mine Is Mine! How Minerals Fuel Conflicts in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(6), pages 1564-1610, June.
    12. Morelli, Massimo & Rohner, Dominic, 2015. "Resource concentration and civil wars," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 32-47.
    13. Francesco Caselli, 2012. "The Geography of Inter-State Resource Wars," 2012 Meeting Papers 1174, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mass killings; civil war; natural resources; intensity of conflict; group size;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:486. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/seizhch.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.