, Volume 76, Issue 2, pp 201–233 | Cite as

The analytics of continuing conflict

  • Jack Hirshleifer


Individuals, groups, or nations — if rational and self-interested — will be balancing on the margin between two alternative ways of generating income: (1) “peaceful” production and exchange, versus (2) ‘appropriative” efforts designed to seize resources previously controlled by others (or to defend against such invasions). Both production and appropriation, on the assumption here, are entirely normal lines of activity engaged in to the extent that doing so seems profitable.

The general-equilibrium steady-state model involves a resource partition function, a social production function, a combat power function, and an income distribution equation. Solutions were obtained under thesymmetrical Cournot protocol and two alternativeasymmetrical assumptions: the familiar Stackelberg condition and a more novel hierarchical protocol called Threat-and-Promise. The analysis demonstrates that, in contrast with the harmonistic bias of orthodox economic theory, a general-equilibrium model can also encompass the hostile and destructive interactions that characterize real-world social relations.


Partition Function Economic Theory Production Function Power Function Social Relation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Hirshleifer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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