The authors examine whether greater inter-state trade, democracy and reduced military spending lower belligerence between India and Pakistan. They begin with theoretical models covering the opportunity costs of conflict in terms of trade losses and security spending, as well as the costs of making concessions to rivals. Conflict between the two nations can be best understood in a multivariate framework where variables such as economic performance, integration with rest of the world, bilateral trade, military expenditure, population are simultaneously taken into account. The authors' empirical investigation based on time series econometrics for the period 1950-2005 with causality tests suggests that reduced trade, greater military expenditure, less development expenditure, lower levels of democracy, lower growth rates and less general trade openness are all conflict enhancing. Moreover, there is reverse causality between bilateral trade, militarization and conflict; low levels of bilateral trade and high militarization are conflict enhancing, equally conflict also reduces bilateral trade and raises militarization. The authors also run forecasting simulations on 6 different VECM models. Globalization or a greater openness to international trade in general are more significant drivers of a liberal peace, rather than a common democratic political orientation suggested by the pure form of the democratic peace.

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International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)
ISS Working Papers - General Series
ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Murshed, S., & Mamoon, D. (2007). On the Costs of Not Loving Thy Neighbour as Thyself. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 446, pp. 1–45). Retrieved from