Nonparasitic warlords and geographic distance

Jerry Hionis


The explicit consideration of geography in the conflict theory literature is still relatively rare. In this article, two warlords are modeled as being located at opposing ends of a hypothetical line. The model includes variables denoting distance and difficulty of terrain. Each warlord allocates resources to the extraction of natural resources, to the production of goods and services (hence, nonparasitic), and to conflict with the opposing warlord. Two forms of a contest success function, a primary tool in the literature, are used to show that the warlord closer to the point of conflict will invest less into the hiring of warriors and more into the production of goods and services, yet will win a larger proportion of total goods and services produced within the economy. [JEL codes: D74, O17]


Conflict theory; warlord competition; African economies

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