Evolutionary Determinants of War
23 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2012 Last revised: 20 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 18, 2013
This paper considers evolutionarily stable decisions about whether to initiate violent conflict rather than accepting a peaceful sharing outcome. Focusing on small sets of players such as countries in a geographically con fined area, we use Schaffer's (1988) concept of evolutionary stability. We find that players' evolutionarily stable preferences widen the range of peaceful resource allocations that are rejected in favor of violent conflict, compared to the Nash equilibrium outcomes. Relative advantages in fighting strength are reflected in the equilibrium set of peaceful resource allocations.
Keywords: conflict, contest, endogenous fighting, balance of power, evolutionary stability
JEL Classification: D72, D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation