Economic Conditions, Elections, and the Magnitude of Foreign Conflicts
This paper investigates the relationship between the business cycle, the election cycle, and the timing and magnitude of foreign conflict. We propose a theoretical model which suggests that in the presence of a reelection motive, the frequency of war will be greater following recessions than otherwise. However, if partially benevolent leaders can influence the size of conflicts, then the consequences may be limited to conflicts of relatively small magnitude. We test the predictions of the theory using data for the United States for the Cold War period, and obtain results consistent with the theory when leaders are partially benevolent.
© 2001 Elsevier B.V.
Gregory D Hess, Athanasios Orphanides, Economic conditions, elections, and the magnitude of foreign conflicts, Journal of Public Economics, Volume 80, Issue 1, April 2001, Pages 121-140, ISSN 0047-2727, 10.1016/S0047-2727(99)00067-5. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272799000675)