Experimental Economics and Game Theory Seminar for March 3

Events, Seminars | February 23, 2017

Join us for the next ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory of the semester, featuring Arthur Silve.

Prof. Silve, of Université Laval, will discuss his paper (co-authored with Thierry Verdier) Putting Your Neighbor’s House In Order: State Capacity, Conflicts, and Institutional Cooperation (Abstract). The talk will take place on Friday, March 3rd, from 4:00 to 5:00pm, in room 5183 of the Metropolitan Building, Arlington campus.

Visit the Seminar schedule to access the paper and to learn more about upcoming speakers.


Conflict in a neighboring country and poor state capacity are both robust pre- dictors of civil wars. This paper examines theoretically the nexus of these two characteristics of conflict. In a simple model of the market for violence, non-state actors provide war inputs to potential rebels in areas where the control of the state is weak. Weak control may take the form of a porous frontier between neighboring countries, which facilitates conflict spilling over in a neighboring country. The contagion effect is nonlinear, which helps explain observed patterns of regional clustering of conflict and state capacity. To avoid contagion, a country may shield itself by investing in better institutions. It may also intervene in its neighbor’s affairs: this paper explores lessons for military intervention in fragile regions, as well as institutional cooperation at the regional and multilateral levels.

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