Date of This Version
Genocide, economics, constrained optimization, rational choice
Professional economists rarely write on questions of genocide. This surprises because a workhorse tool of the economics discipline concerns the analysis of behavior that takes place under constraints. All parties in genocide—perpetrators, victims, and third parties—face cost and resource constraints subject to which they seek to achieve their objectives, be it killing, surviving, or intervening. This essay characterizes and illustrates economic thinking about objectives, costs, and resources for each of the three groups. There is potentially much that economics can contribute to genocide studies and, vice versa, much that genocide scholars may learn from welcoming an economic perspective.
Working Paper Number
Brauer, Jurgen and Anderton, Charles, "Economics and Genocide: Choices and Consequences" (2014). Economics Department Working Papers. Paper 162.