Theories of war predict that the leader may launch a war on a follower who is catching up, since the follower cannot commit to not use their increased power in the future. But it was Japan who attacked the West in 1941: both leaders and followers start wars. Similarly, many have argued that trade makes war less likely, yet the First World War erupted at a time of unprecedented globalisation. We develop a model of trade and war that can explain both observations. Dependence on imports can lead followers to attack leaders or resource-rich regions when they are subject to blockade.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics