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Mutual fear and civil war

Chassang, Sylvain and Padró i Miquel, Gerard (2008) Mutual fear and civil war. 165. Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA., USA.

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Abstract

We propose a theory of con ict in which actors balance the opportunity costs of ghting with the fear of being attacked. By mobilizing, an agent foregoes returns to her peacetime economic activity, but she can seize resources and protect herself from an attack. Opportunity costs change with the economic situation, which determines the risk of attack in equilibrium. This theory makes two contributions. First, it predicts that con ict occurs after bad economic shocks. This is supported by the empirical literature on civil war and it is dicult to accommodate using existing models. Second, the theory generates con ict out of mutual fears. This is closely related to the literature on the security dilemma. The model allows for a systematic exploration of the theory in Jervis (1978) in a rational choice framework and it shows that aggressive and security seeking agents can be jointly understood as depending on transient economic circumstances.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/bread
Additional Information: © 2008 Sylvain Chassang and Gerard Padró i Miquel
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D74 - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Departments > Economics
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 165
Date Deposited: 12 May 2008 16:03
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/4825/

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