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The Political Economy of Power Relations

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "PolEc" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: VIA SARFATTI 25
city: MILANO
postcode: 20136

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Italy [IT]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙540˙625 €
 EC max contribution 1˙540˙625 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-09-01   to  2021-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Political economists want to understand conflict, electoral competition, special interest politics, regimes and institutional choices, and in all these subfields the term power appears frequently: power of countries, power of ethnic groups, power of interest groups, power of parties, power of the bureaucracy. Power is multidimensional and endogenous, and hence the standard theoretical and empirical analysis that takes a unified notion of power as an independent variable has led to wrong directions. By acknowledging that power is multidimensional and endogenous, and thereby studying the endogenous interactions between the different types of power, we can further significantly the frontier of political economy. In particular, I am going to show, theoretically and empirically, that all kinds of conflict, from civil war to interstate war and even class conflict, depend on the “mismatch” between the relative power of the key players on different dimensions, for example military and political power. An important byproduct of the mismatch theory is for the interpretation of the history of conflict after 1950: I claim that it is Bretton Woods that created the ground for a significant discontinuity, cutting down the incentives to interstate wars but increasing the incentives to start civil wars. Finally, the general idea that the dynamics of one type of power can depend significantly on relative power in other spheres will be applied also to the relationship between political power and the power of bureaucracies. The empirical part of the project will involve new measurements of power and will benefit from collection of data on political texts, policy platform texts, legal texts and economic strength of ethnic groups over time and cross-countries.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Massimo Morelli, Tommaso Sonno
On Economic Interdependence and War
published pages: 1084-1097, ISSN: 0022-0515, DOI: 10.1257/jel.20161353
Journal of Economic Literature 55/3 2020-01-28
2017 Elliott Ash, Massimo Morelli, Richard Van Weelden
Elections and Divisiveness: Theory and Evidence
published pages: 1268-1285, ISSN: 0022-3816, DOI: 10.1086/692587
The Journal of Politics 79/4 2020-01-28
2019 Massimo Morelli, Luigi Guiso, Helios Herrera and Tommaso Sonno
OUP accepted manuscript
published pages: , ISSN: 0266-4658, DOI: 10.1093/epolic/eiy018
Economic Policy 2020-01-28
2019 Adam Meirowitz, Massimo Morelli, Kristopher W. Ramsay, Francesco Squintani
Dispute Resolution Institutions and Strategic Militarization
published pages: , ISSN: 1556-5068, DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2387871
SSRN Electronic Journal 2020-01-28

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