Selection institutions and war aims

James D. Morrow, Bruce Bueno De Mesquita, Randolph M. Siverson, Alastair Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We explore how the sizes of the winning coalition and selectorate influence the war aims of states. Leaders who answer to a small winning coalition are more likely to seek territorial gain as a way to increase state resources. Nonterritorial war aims produce a commitment problem in that after the war the defeated state may not comply with the victor's demands. States with large winning coalitions are more willing to continue the war to remove the enemy leader as a solution to this commitment problem. We test our hypotheses against the Militarized Interstate Dispute data set, and we find some support for our argument.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)31-52
    Number of pages22
    JournalEconomics of Governance
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2006


    • Interstate conflict
    • Postwar commitment problem
    • War aims
    • Winning coalition

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
    • Business and International Management


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