The Supply Side Determinants of Territory and Conflict

47 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2018 Last revised: 27 Feb 2020

See all articles by Jordan Adamson

Jordan Adamson

Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University

Erik O. Kimbrough

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics

Date Written: October 5, 2018

Abstract

What determines the geographic extent of territory? We introduce a simple application of contest theory that neatly captures Boulding's "Loss of Strength Gradient'' to show how economies of scale in the production of violence and varying costs of projecting power at a distance combine to affect the intensive and extensive margins of conflict and ultimately the geographic distribution of territory. We test and probe the boundaries of this model in an experiment varying the marginal costs of conflict over space and the fixed costs of entry. As predicted, both costs interact to increase the probability of exclusive territories, with median behavior closely tracking equilibrium predictions in all treatments.

Keywords: conflict, territory, experiments

JEL Classification: D74, C9, P48

Suggested Citation

Adamson, Jordan and Kimbrough, Erik O., The Supply Side Determinants of Territory and Conflict (October 5, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3261667 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3261667

Jordan Adamson

Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University ( email )

3525 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 843223525
United States

Erik O. Kimbrough (Contact Author)

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

One University Dr
Orange, CA 92866
United States

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