The trade-offs of fighting and investing: A model of the evolution of war and peace

Kelly M. Kadera, Daniel S. Morey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


International competition occurs in many different forms. Just as a state would be in danger if it allowed its opponent to gain a military advantage, one that falls behind a rival in an economic contest similarly faces risks. States must weigh the trade-offs between economic and military growth, as well as deciding on the best strategy to follow should war erupt. We use a formal, dynamic model to explicitly capture the trade-offs that states face in their search for security and dominance. The deductions from the model demonstrate that by considering the long-run results of a peacetime rivalry, weaker states might conclude that their only hope of winning or surviving a rivalry lies in fighting a counterforce war, explain why and how stalemates evolve during counterforce wars, and indicate that targeting industrial objectives shortens the duration of wars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-170
Number of pages19
JournalConflict Management and Peace Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Competition
  • Dynamic model
  • Strategy
  • Trade-offs
  • War

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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