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The Dark Side of the Force
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  • 84 b/w illus. 19 tables
  • Page extent: 366 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.594 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 330
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: HB97.3 .H57 2001
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Evolutionary economics
    • Social conflict--Economic aspects
    • War--Economic aspects
    • Labor disputes
    • Competition

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521009171 | ISBN-10: 0521009170)

The central tradition of mainline economics deals with one way of making a living; producing goods and services. But there is another way of getting ahead through conflict or the 'dark side', by appropriating what others have produced. Parallel to military aggression and resistance, the dark side includes non-military 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 deeply into the evolutionary sources of our capacities, physical and mental, for both conflict and cooperation. The introductory chapter of the volume, which outlines the significance of the dark side, was the author's 1993 Presidential Address to the Western Economic Association. Other chapters investigate economic models, historical discussions, experimental tests, and applications to topics in political science and law.

• First book to analyze systematically the causes, conduct, and consequences of conflict as an economic activity • Economic implications of conflict as analyzed also help explain many features of social, political, and legal arrangements, making essay collection useful for sociology, political science, law as well as economics • Press author Hirshleifer internationally known as expert on this subject


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.


'… it is a very interesting collection …'. Managerial and Decision Economics

'Cambridge University Press is to be congratulated on producing the volume just at the moment when considerations of conflict and the use of force are in the forefront of everyone's mind.' Journal of Economics

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