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Inequality and conflict outbreak

Vesperoni, Alberto; Yildizparlak, Anil

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Alberto Vesperoni


We model conflict as a multi-prize contest which takes place if a minimum number of players (which we interpret as social classes) reject the status-quo prize distribution. In the event of conflict, the status-quo prizes are reshuffled across players depending on their efforts. We first show that, for a broad family of contest models, equilibrium rent dissipation takes the form of a Generalized Gini coefficient of the prize distribution (also tackling the well-known issue of existence of an equilibrium). Secondly, we show that conflict occurs when inequality is low and deprivation (a concept that we define) is high, where these measures are computed with respect to the prize distribution. Thirdly, we find empirical evidence that supports our predictions using an unbalanced panel of 41 high and middle income countries, taking the number of labor strikes per capita as a proxy for the occurrence of conflict and measuring inequality and deprivation with respect to the income distribution.


Vesperoni, A., & Yildizparlak, A. (2019). Inequality and conflict outbreak. Social Choice and Welfare, 53(1), 135-173.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 20, 2019
Online Publication Date Feb 1, 2019
Publication Date Jun 30, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 24, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 1, 2020
Journal Social Choice and Welfare
Print ISSN 0176-1714
Electronic ISSN 1432-217X
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 1
Pages 135-173
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (447 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Social choice and welfare. The final authenticated version is available online at:

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