War Signals: A Theory of Trade, Trust and Conflict

Détails

ID Serval
serval:BIB_4DD3DF262B7C
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Titre
War Signals: A Theory of Trade, Trust and Conflict
Périodique
Review of Economic Studies
Auteur(s)
Rohner D., Thoenig M., Zilibotti F.
ISSN
0034-6527
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
07/2013
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
80
Numéro
3
Pages
1114-1147
Langue
anglais
Résumé
We construct a dynamic theory of civil conflict hinging on inter-ethnic trust and trade. The model economy is inhabitated by two ethnic groups. Inter-ethnic trade requires imperfectly observed bilateral investments and one group has to form beliefs on the average propensity to trade of the other group. Since conflict disrupts trade, the onset of a conflict signals that the aggressor has a low propensity to trade. Agents observe the history of conflicts and update their beliefs over time, transmitting them to the next generation. The theory bears a set of testable predictions. First, war is a stochastic process whose frequency depends on the state of endogenous beliefs. Second, the probability of future conflicts increases after each conflict episode. Third, "accidental" conflicts that do not reflect economic fundamentals can lead to a permanent breakdown of trust, plunging a society into a vicious cycle of recurrent conflicts (a war trap). The incidence of conflict can be reduced by policies abating cultural barriers, fostering inter-ethnic trade and human capital, and shifting beliefs. Coercive peace policies such as peacekeeping forces or externally imposed regime changes have instead no persistent effects.
Mots-clé
Beliefs, Civil war, Conflict, Cultural transmission, Ethnic fractionalization, Peacekeeping, Strategic complementarity, Trade
Web of science
Création de la notice
11/05/2012 22:52
Dernière modification de la notice
03/03/2018 17:03
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