NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Nation-Building, Nationalism and Wars

Alberto Alesina, Bryony Reich, Alessandro Riboni

NBER Working Paper No. 23435
Issued in May 2017
NBER Program(s):Political Economy

The increase in army size observed in early modern times changed the way states conducted wars. Starting in the late 18th century, states switched from mercenaries to a mass army by conscription. In order for the population to accept to fight and endure war, the government elites began to provide public goods, reduced rent extraction and adopted policies to homogenize the population with nation-building. This paper explores a variety of ways in which nation-building can be implemented and studies its effects as a function of technological innovation in warfare.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23435

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