The Algebraic Bargaining Model of War

Can war be mutually beneficial?

Takeaway Points

  1. War is costly—it destroys buildings, kills people, and diverts economic resources to producing military goods.
  2. As long as war is costly, there exists a range of settlements which both sides prefer to war. This is true regardless of the exact costs of fighting or the relative likelihood of each state winning.
  3. The question is why states choose to fight instead of accepting one of those settlements.