The Economics of Sun Pin's Military Strategy
Comparative Strategy, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 80-87, 2015
19 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2014 Last revised: 15 Aug 2016
Date Written: 2015
Sun Tzu’s Art of War is well-known for its influence in both strategic and management studies. However, most research has overlooked the Art of War produced by Sun Tzu’s descendent, Sun Pin. This text, while not as easily interpreted as its more famous ancestor, also contains discussions of strategic decision making that can be examined from an economic or managerial point of view. It therefore merits attention as an important crossroads between strategic studies and other social sciences. The major purpose of this paper is to survey and explain Sun Pin’s economic ideas on several subjects: scarcity, proper resource management, war finance, the use of incentives, and the entrepreneurial element in strategic decision-making. A minor purpose is to contrast Sun Pin’s approach to that of Sun Tzu, who emphasized many of the same concepts.
Keywords: Sun Tzu, Sun Pin, political economy, incentive structures, entrepreneurship
JEL Classification: B11, L26, N45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation