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Economic Aspects of Genocides, Other Mass Atrocities, and Their Preventions$
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Charles H. Anderton and Jurgen Brauer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199378296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199378296.001.0001

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Genocide and Mass Killing Risk and Prevention

Genocide and Mass Killing Risk and Prevention

Perspectives from Constrained Optimization Models

(p.143) 6 Genocide and Mass Killing Risk and Prevention
Economic Aspects of Genocides, Other Mass Atrocities, and Their Preventions

Charles H. Anderton

Jurgen Brauer

Oxford University Press

We apply constrained optimization models to the study of a regime’s decision to initiate genocide or mass killing (GMK) and to “optimal” techniques of mass atrocity (e.g., direct killing, enslavement) once a choice for GMK is made. The modeling exercises and applications (to Kosovo and DR Congo) give rise to a demand function for GMK, which can be used to understand GMK risks and prevention. The models are extended to reveal a “bleakness theorem,” in which policy efforts to prevent intentional attacks against civilians can be ineffective. We also explore the implications of reference dependence and loss aversion in understanding GMK, uncovering a “repression inertia theorem.”

Keywords:   genocide, mass atrocity, substitution possibilities, DR Congo, Bosnia, loss aversion

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