Prosperous Pacifists: The Effects of Development on Initiators and Targets of Territorial Conflict

Institute for Empirical Research in Economics University of Zurich Working Paper No. 500

38 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2010

See all articles by Erik Gartzke

Erik Gartzke

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Dominic Rohner

University of Zurich

Date Written: September 1, 2010

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Gartzke, Erik and Rohner, Dominic, Prosperous Pacifists: The Effects of Development on Initiators and Targets of Territorial Conflict (September 1, 2010). Institute for Empirical Research in Economics University of Zurich Working Paper No. 500, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1676765 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1676765

Erik Gartzke (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
San Diego, CA
United States

Dominic Rohner

University of Zurich ( email )

Muehlebachstrasse 86
Zurich, 8008
Switzerland

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