Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/77708
Authors: 
Hodler, Roland
Yektas, Hadi
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 4282
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.
Subjects: 
conflict
war
asymmetric contests
private information
JEL: 
D74
H56
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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