Economics of Warfare 19 – 2 and 11 – 2

Continuing with a second posting on the nineteenth and second to last lecture from Professor Michael Spagat’s Economics of Warfare course that he gives at Royal Holloway University. It is posted on his blog Wars, Numbers and Human Losses at:

This lecture continues the discussion of terrorism, this time he is looking at a paper by Gassebner and Luechinger on terrorism. This is similar to what was done for causes of war in a paper by Hegre and Sambanis that was presented in lecture 11:

Economics of Warfare 11

This discussion of Hegre and Sambanis covered only the last two pages of the lecture (slides 23 and 24 of lecture 11) and I did not mention it when I first blogged about it.. I guess I probably need to now, turning this posting into the follow-up post on lecture 11. Hegre and Sambanis looked at 88 variables related to causes of war and by running regressions tried to determine which ones are consistently correlated with the onset of war.

  1. GDP per capita is negatively associate with civil war onset (meaning: rich countries are less likely to have civil wars).
  2. Having had a previous war is positively associated with civil war onset…the more recent the war the stronger the association (meaning: war beget wars?).
  3. Country size (population and territory) is positively associated with civil war onset (meaning: big countries tend to have more wars.).

This last point is interesting as country size and population also showed up in our insurgency studies related to the success of the insurgents. Big populated counties tended to have more successful insurgencies than small countries. In Chapter 3, page 47 of America’s Modern Wars I provided the following chart:

Insurgencies with Foreign Intervention

Circumstances                                                   Number of cases        Percent Blue Victory

Indigenous Population > 9 million                              10                                20

Intervening Force Commitment > 100,000                  8                                  0

Peak Insurgent Force Size > 30,000                         13                                23

“Blue Victory” = counterinsurgent victory

Anyhow, I have not gotten past the first sentence of slide 13 for this post, and we are already around 300 words in this post, so probably best to pick up the rest of lecture 19 in a subsequent post.

The link to lecture 19 is here:

The link to lecture 11 is here:

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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