Growth and Collapse of Empires: A Dynamic Optimization Model

Yegorov, Y., Grass, D., Mirescu, M., Feichtinger, G., & Wirl, F. (2020). Growth and Collapse of Empires: A Dynamic Optimization Model. Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications 186 620-643. 10.1007/s10957-020-01719-5.

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This paper addresses the spatial evolution of countries accounting for economics, geography and (military) force. Economic activity is spatially distributed following the AK model with the output being split into consumption, investment, transport costs and military (for defense and expansion). The emperor controls the military force subject to the constraints imposed by the economy but also the geography (transport costs, border length) and the necessity to satisfy the needs of the population. The border changes depending on how much pressure the emperor can muster to counter the pressure of neighboring countries. The resulting dynamic process determines a country’s size over time. The model leads to multiple steady states, large empires and small countries being separated by a threshold and collapse. The resulting patterns can be linked to historical observations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Defense; Dynamic optimization; Empire; Geography; Growth model
Research Programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2020 06:33
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:33

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