Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Polo Santa Marta, Via Cantarane 24, Room 1.59
The empirical and theoretical literature on the resources-conflict nexus unambiguously point at two mechanisms fueling conflicts: the rapacity channel and the opportunity cost channel. More valuable grabbable resources (rapacity) and less valuable income generating resources (opportunity cost) both contribute to exacerbating conflict.
We demonstrate that the reverse mechanisms can occur with more general preferences. In the absence of markets for the modeled goods, more (less) grabbable (non-grabbable) resources will incentivize agents to substitute appropriation effort with production effort if the goods are sufficiently complementary. Beyond encompassing existing results, our setting equally explains the observed increases in effort to claim political rights in periods of economic development, in stark contrast with the opportunity cost mechanism.