Collective Defense by Common Property Arrangements: the Rise and Fall of the Kibbutz

Liang Diao (Simon Fraser University)

Abstract : Common property arrangements have long been considered inefficient and short lived, since they encourage high-productivity individuals to leave and shirking among those who stay. In contrast, kibbutzim -- voluntary common property settlements in Israel -- have lasted almost a century. Recently, about 75% of kibbutzim abandoned their equal-sharing rule and paid differential salaries to members based on their contributions. To explain the long persistence of the kibbutzim, as well as the recent privatization of income, a model of public defense is developed, which predicts that defense depends on equal sharing, and that income privatization depends on external threats. Using settlement and Kibbutz level data, it is shown that kibbutzim made the largest contributions to expanding and defending the Jewish territory. When the external threats went away, the kibbutzim in safer areas abandoned equal sharing.

Historical Protests and Violence Against Civilians: Evidence from the Korean War

Hojung Joo (University of Michigan)

Abstract : How do we explain the geographic variation in violence against civilians during wars? In this paper, I argue that regions that have records protests before the war experience more violence during future armed conflicts. Protests signal the presence of prewar conflict among civilians. I construct an original data set on civilian killings during the Korean War (1950-1953) and utilize data on prewar peasant protests to test the impact of prewar civilian conflict on wartime civilian killings. I find that a region that has more records of peasant protests before the war experience a significantly higher number of civilian killings. I further find that once the conflict matures, the impact of prewar civilian conflict decline, as armed actors and civilians focus more on events that happened immediately before occupation to sort out and punish defectors.

When Deterrence Fails: How Improved Hassling Capabilities Produce Worse Outcomes

Peter Schram (Vanderbilt University)

Abstract : I formalize interactions between an endogenously rising state and a rival, non-rising state that can accept the rising state’s rise, can go to war before the rise comes to fruition, or can degrade the rising state’s growth through low-level conflict operations that I call “hassling.” The novelty here is that the non-rising state has private information about their hassling capabilities; this implies that the rising state does not know how fast it can rise without invoking the non-rising state to hassle or go to war. I find that when the non-rising state is better able to conduct hassling, it can invoke problematic strategic responses in the rising actor, undermine the non-rising state's ability to use its private information productively, and result in lower utilities for the non-rising state. Empirically, this model provides insight into Saddam Hussein's decision making leading up to the 2003 U.S. invasion, and proxy-wars that occurred during the Cold War.