The Dark Side of the Force: Economic Foundations of Conflict Theory

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Overview

The central tradition of mainline economics deals with only one way of making a living: namely, producing useful goods and services. But there is another way of getting ahead-- through conflict or the "dark side"--that is by appropriating what others have produced. Logically parallel or military aggression and resistance, the dark side includes nonmilitary activities such as litigation, strikes and lockouts, takeover contests, and bureaucratic back-biting struggles. This volume brings the analysis of conflict into the mainstream of economics. Part I explores the causes, conduct, and consequences of conflict as an economic activity. Part II delves more deeply into the evolutionary sources of our capacities, physical and mental, for both conflict and cooperation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hirshleifer has spent a quarter century exploring human behavior, especially behavior in conflict, in territory that belongs to sociologists but in territory that the proprietors have left largely unexploited. Hirshleifer brings to the work the tools of an economist, but also a curiosity and an insight that are rare among economists. The book is so much fun that the reader may lose sight of how important it is." Thomas C. Schelling, Emeritus, Harvard University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521804127
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Pages: 366
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The dark side of the force; Part I. Causes, Consequences and Conduct of Conflict: 2. The bioeconomic causes of war; 3. The paradox of power; 4. Do the rich get richer and the poor poorer? Experimental tests of a model of power; 5. Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: ration vs. difference models of relative success; 6. Anarchy and its breakdown; 7. Truth, effort, and the legal battle; 8. Are equilibrium strategies unaffected by incentives?; Part II. Evolutionary Approaches to Conflict and its Resolution: 9. Extract from evolutionary models in economics and law: cooperation versus conflict strategies; 10. On the emotions as guarantors of threats and promises; 11. What strategies can support the evolutionary emergence of cooperation?; 12. Selection, mutation, and the preservation of diversity in evolutionary games; 13. There are many evolutionary pathways to cooperation; 14. The expanding domain of economics.
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