Why Democracies Cooperate More and Fight Less: The Relationship between International Trade and Cooperation

REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS

Posted: 7 Mar 1997

See all articles by Solomon W. Polachek

Solomon W. Polachek

State University of New York at Binghamton; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

This paper provides an economics-based interpretation to the standard finding n in the literature that democracies rarely fight each other. A general theory of conflict between two countries is presented and empirical analysis applies this theory to the question of why democracies rarely fight each other. The results show that the fundamental factor in causing bilateral cooperation is trade. Countries seek to protect wealth gained through international trade, therefore trading partners are less combative than non-trading nations. Democratic dyads trade more than non-democratic dyads, and thus exhibit less conflict and more cooperation.

JEL Classification: F1

Suggested Citation

Polachek, Solomon W., Why Democracies Cooperate More and Fight Less: The Relationship between International Trade and Cooperation. REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4714

Solomon W. Polachek (Contact Author)

State University of New York at Binghamton ( email )

Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
United States
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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