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Prosperous pacifists: the effects of development on initiators and targets of territorial conflict

  • Erik Gartzke
  • Dominic Rohner

Scholars have suggested several ways in which economic development could affect interstate conflict. Supply side arguments view modern economies as more difficult to subdue or exploit through force (i.e., development creates states that are 'bitter pills'). The demand side perspective argues in contrast that development lessens the appeal of conquest among potential aggressors (i.e., development creates 'prosperous pacifists'). We offer a formal model that isolates contrasting consequences of development for initiators and targets. We use a directed dyad research design to test hypotheses drawn from the model on measures of territorial conflict. The development of potential initiators, not of possible targets, discourages conflict among nations.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 500.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:500
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  1. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
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  3. Polachek Solomon W., 1999. "Conflict and Trade: An Economics Approach to Political International Interactions," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-32, April.
  4. Daniel M. Jones & Stuart A. Bremer & J. David Singer, 1996. "Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1816–1992: Rationale, Coding Rules, and Empirical Patterns," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 15(2), pages 163-213, September.
  5. Martin J Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2009. "A Course in Game Theory," Levine's Bibliography 814577000000000225, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke & Soderbom, Mans, 2001. "On the duration of civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2681, The World Bank.
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