Wars of Conquest and Independence

28 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2013

See all articles by Roland Hodler

Roland Hodler

University of Lucerne

Hadi Yektas

Antalya International University

Date Written: June 25, 2013

Abstract

Wars of conquest and wars of independence are characterized by an asymmetric payoff structure: one party gets aggregate production if it wins, and its own production if it loses, while the other party gets only its own production if it wins, and nothing if it loses. We study a model of war with such an asymmetric payoff structure, and private information about military technologies. We characterize continuous equilibrium strategies and find that the party that gets aggregate production when winning fights aggressively only if its military technology is relatively good, while the other party fights quite aggressively even if its military technology is relatively poor. From an ex ante perspective, this other party is therefore more likely to win the war unless its expected military technology is considerably worse. Our model may thus explain why defending countries and secessionist groups often win against much larger opponents.

Keywords: conflict, war, asymmetric contests, private information

JEL Classification: D740, H560

Suggested Citation

Hodler, Roland and Yektas, Hadi, Wars of Conquest and Independence (June 25, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4282. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2284768

Roland Hodler (Contact Author)

University of Lucerne ( email )

Hofstrasse 9
P.O. Box 7464
Luzern 7, CH - 6000
Switzerland

Hadi Yektas

Antalya International University ( email )

Üniversite Cad. No:2
Döşemealtı, 07190
Turkey

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